Life is a fascinating conglomeration of events, responses to those events, and the creation of new experiences either unintentionally or intentionally. I posit that we should aim for intentional creation of new experiences to broaden the scope of our knowledge while introducing potentially viable pathways to traverse. Everyone is susceptible to myopic thought processes viewed as safe with disregard for their impact on future events. These supposed safe avenues are ripe for stagnation to cease growth and development, as options are limited. This new reality appears inviting and welcoming, as dimensions of a chaotic life are confined to an infinitesimal subset, which can now be suitably ordered, planned, and organized introducing that aforementioned thin veil of control.
One thought-provoking episode of TED Talks describes the nature of the new reality’s close-minded thinking when an individual is unemployed and searching for suitable, gainful employment. Brain activity was measured at regular intervals evidencing minimal activity throughout the brain’s entire structure in a display of signs of depression. During depression, one is reticent in an almost hermit-like state, which only serves to inhibit or cease the dissemination of useful knowledge. This thought process only serves to distance us from society at an inopportune time when we must enact an opposite scheme to build our personal brand awareness by engaging with others regarding our value proposition. We can reverse this hindering downward spiral of personal affairs by adopting an attitude open to the wide world of possibilities in actualizing our unfettered, astronomical potential.
As children, we fearlessly inquire, investigate, and explore the novelty and beauty of all facets of life devoid of potential discord created and/or subtle or blatant corrections by peers and society. Novel thoughts and ideas are not only tolerated during a child’s formative years, but are encouraged by educators and parents alike. We gradually descend into a herd mentality of placating dissonant thoughts through unchecked agreeableness in hopes we are accepted to quench our insatiable sense for belonging and inclusion. This attitude molds an individual into another drone with a predictable mindset and speech prosody. Groupthink is the antithesis of creativity and growth signaling a proclivity for complacency by following the trend, rather than adopting potentially world-changing, innovative thoughts.
An adaptive mindset helps us successfully navigate the many changes, successes, and failures experienced either throughout each day or over longer time frame. I experienced unexpected success in the sport of Running by besting multiple professional runners after over a decade of refining my approach and ensuring execution to specification in training and races. I believe the sport of Running serves as a microcosm of life where we must embrace and revel in our earned successes, gain insight from our failures, and realize that ultimate progress doesn’t follow a convenient upward linear path.
Some may say that any deviations experienced within a sporting career are due to oversight of myriad variables like nutrition, strengthening, rest and recovery, corrective exercises, training surface, footwear, and training load. Any of these factors could lead to dreaded muscle imbalances or a litany of overuse injuries, but I meticulously and methodically adhered to a stringent plan accounting for all variables. Therefore, any failure was not planned, and in direct opposition to goal attainment, but I believe failure inevitably existed to test my mettle and likelihood to reflect upon my plan and its trajectory. Sometimes maintenance of current protocol is sufficient whereas other times failure requires a drastic change for progress to ensue. Setbacks are an inseparable part of running’s and life’s process, and must be celebrated for their invaluable learning experience, should we desire to continue life’s wayward trajectory.
I have watched multiple videos and read multiple articles stating that an individual’s life, and intertwined career, trajectory are often divergent from plans and/or expectations following an immeasurable curvilinear and/or stepwise pathway. Many individuals do not experience progress in alignment with their plans and/or expectations for many decades beyond their initial intent. However, like mentioned in previous posts, if we continue to strive with open hearts and minds, opportunity will inevitably avail itself. I am a staunch proponent of the concept that luck doesn’t exist, rather luck is the fruitful combination of hard work, and opportunity presenting itself with the caveat that we contain essential awareness of the situation to seize its merits. I challenge others to retain a childlike affinity toward learning about our splendor-filled albeit challenging world. Individuals surveyed while on their death bed stated that their number one regret was “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me,” so avoiding the complacency trap will never leave someone regretting what they didn’t experience.