‘No expectations.’ I continue to recite this mantra as I slam a wall head on. Full-blown writer’s block! Oh, how I miss the brighter days where procrastination seemed to be my only worry. What to write about? So many ideas but how to make them sound studious and scholarly – that is the key, or is it? The need to excel, impress, compare or outdo others; could it be that that is the ultimate pitfall, which has continued to defeat me this past week.
‘No expectations.’ Two words, simple, yet so hard to practice and put into action. The expectations I place on myself to perform a certain way – no matter the activity; climbing, writing, as a family man, boyfriend, mentor, provider and the list goes on. I mentioned something about this in a recent post but had no idea the immediate life lesson that would ensue. On one hand, with no expectations I loose all standards and motivation to strive for the most out of life. On the other, society’s influence diverts me from sharing from the heart. The characteristic Ying and Yang side to the many methods for taking on life. Balance. Balance is the key. And overcoming the fear of failure, the true end goal! And so I begin, setting worries and pressure aside, writing from the soul.
FEAR, a four letter word that holds more weight than the semi-truck that just swerved into my lane on the interstate. It comes in thousands of different forms and I, unfortunately, am all too familiar with many of them. From my first day of school with those early morning stomach jitters to the ‘cholesterol rising hopes’ of a professional career, self-sustaining salary and loving family – life is scary and fear has a tight hold of the reins for most of it. At times the solution seems easy to cope with life’s trials and tribulations, shutdown, hole up in a warm house with a cozy blanket. And upon my next awakening hope for blue skies, roses and rainbows. But we all know that’s not the way the world works. Opportunities arise, challenges bring everyday life to a halt and forks in the road bring about decisions to be made. My younger years have been an era of trail and error, a continual flow of knowledge based on a better understanding of myself and my interactions with the world. With this education and gained awareness, I’ve had to make many choices. New people, places and overall change bring about those dreaded uncomfortable feelings. Questions of fear arise: Do I go? Stay? Resist change? Stand up to the challenge? Is it risky? Is he or she safe? Will I be alright? Is the world going to take care of me? And the list goes on and on, if I allow it.
“But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live. Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom. Only a person who risks is free. The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; and the realist adjusts the sails.” -William Arthur Ward
It’s those times that I’ve risen to the test, that I’ve been awarded the most! And so the risks begin to stack up.
- Should I put two feet on the floor for the first day of my new job, make an excuse or put it off til tomorrow?
- Do I really need to go out tonight and meet new friends?
- What if he or she doesn’t like me as I pull up for a first date?
- Bills? Food? Rent? Can I support myself alone?
- Pulling my harness tight and staring up at a steep wall… Is this it? The one that finally let’s me down.
- The urge to take off on a crazy multi-month road trip, living out of your car… What? Who does that?
- Can I return to everyday life after dedicating time to the freedom and discovery of traveling?
These questions are a glimpse into those challenges that I’ve faced or am currently confronted with. Giving into fear, turning my back to opportunities and growth – naively diving head first into every situation resulting in heartache, pain and un-learned lessons. Both of these extreme views present issues in life, yet finding balance and examining what’s at stake, that’s what calls for my focus today. Because in the end, I long to experience the most out of life and that’s what ‘letting go’, having a little faith and stepping up to the risk means to me!
Joseph Hobby 9/29/14
Brave Explorations. Soulful Discoveries.
I would like to take a moment to really thank everyone who continues to show support, follow us on our blog and Instagram or has just taken a glance at a post. Its everyone of you, that help motivate us to follow our passions through writing and discovery, and for that we’re eternally grateful!