Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
The story of evolution is a tale of struggle. That’s how the first living cell that existed some four billion years ago eventually became man, as we know him today. Struggle is how we came to be and struggle is how we expand and grow. A lesson that we tend to forget.
Years ago, we had no choice. Man had to fight for his very survival. Things have changed. In today’s world it’s relatively easy to find a secure niche and vegetate in a seemingly secure environment. However vegetating is not the reason that we placed on Planet Earth. As part of the Grand Scheme of Things, we were placed here to expand and to grow in order to contribute to the continuum of life.
The ultimate purpose of life is to extend life and that can only be done through growth because, in nature, nothing stands still. There is either growth or stagnation and decay. It’s a law of physic and it’s a law of nature. There is no escaping it. Yet, even though we are aware of that fact, the temptation to try circumvent it and maintain the status quo is prevalent.
The reason that the status quo seems attractive is that it mirrors the promise of security. It is a common belief that the evil that we know is not as bad as the evil that we don’t know. There are at least two things wrong with that belief. First it’s a false assumption and second it’s a very limiting belief.
Life is sustained and expanded by experiencing life. Efforts are required to keep the physical body fit and challenges are required to keep the mind fit, sharp and expanding. Nothing grows in a vacuum. Opposing forces have to be met, challenged and overcome for growth to happen and that cannot be found in the comfort zone.
Wise men have understood this fundamental truth. That is the reason that most of them are still active and still meeting challenges way past retirement age. The human body does not wear out; it rusts out. The human mind is not weakened through activity; it feeds and expands on it.
Helen Keller said, “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
She is right. Nothing is certain and security does not really exist but there is a way of maximizing our chances of being secure and that is by maximizing our personal resources. That is done by meeting challenges, overcoming obstacles and slaying dragons. It’s done by meeting life heads on, pushing our faculties to the limits and in the process, expanding and growing.
We come this way only once and every effort should be made to experience all the flavors that life has to offer. That can only be done by traveling the high roads of human endeavors. By becoming all that we can be and by achieving all that we are capable off. That’s the secret of a fulfilling life. It’s the only way that, when the final curtain falls, no regrets will be there to haunt us. That precious life that was given us will have been lived to its fullest.