For those of you who have been following me on Facebook for a while, you're probably used to seeing the daily quote on my page. I've always found it valuable in my own life to read some of these things. It's not so much about who says these things, but the message that's conveyed. There's wisdom to be gleaned from others' words, experiences, and philosophies. After all, we're all sharing this experience and if someone can offer some insight that can make our time better and more fulfilling, by all means, we should take it! When a particular quote resonates with us, it connects us to the human experience and makes us feel a bit less like we're on our own. One quote that I revisit often is attributed to Jack London, though it may not necessarily be his entirely:
I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.
This is really the perfect visual that comes to my mind for my philosophy of the Unsteady State.
- Imagine an athlete that has all the skills and raw talent to be the best, but plays it safe on the field of play, never realizes his/her potential, and never leaves an impression on his sport...
- Imagine a glorious (and expensive!) vintage of red wine sitting in your wine rack for the perfect occasion. It sits there so long that it turns to vinegar and you never get the opportunity to enjoy it...
It's so easy to get caught in the steady state, a situation that is comfortable, safe, and doesn't change. Nobody likes change! But life is not about merely existing. And in order to live, we have to introduce and accept change.
Change doesn't have to mean running off and becoming a hermit or completely changing your life as you currently know it... Change can be as simple as taking a class, starting a new hobby, saying "hi" to that person down the hall that you never really bothered to meet.
There is even evidence that leading a more active cognitive lifestyle (i.e. - doing things that make you think rather than hanging out on autopilot) has physically measurable benefits on your brain! [Elsevier (2012, April 25). Protecting your brain: 'Use it or lose it'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 12, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2012/04/120425094358.htm]
We have to make the effort to expand our horizons. The old adage "if you're not living, you're dying" couldn't be any simpler or more true.
How do we move towards finding our Unsteady State? I've got some key things we can do that I'll be sharing in future blogs...
What do you think? Join the conversation.