We’ve all been hearing since March 2020 that we need to be cautious.
We need to wear masks around people from outside our household, we need to stay six feet apart, we need to wash our hands for the duration of “Happy Birthday," and, heck, we all just need to stay home where it’s safe!
Don't take unnecessary risks!
I’ve been following these directions (for the most part) and, thankfully, I’ve remained healthy.
But my subconscious has begun to rebel. The other day, I found myself far less cautious in one of my dreams.
I was at a local mom and pop specialty shop that sold high-quality Italian meats and cheeses. I saw other people in the store not wearing masks. Why aren't they wearing masks, I thought? Wait, I'm not wearing a mask either. Why am I not wearing a mask? Did COVID "end?" Am I dreaming? Is that gorgeous-looking sample of sliced steak that the deli owner is proffering -- fully exposed to human respiratory droplets -- safe to eat?
I ate it. It was delicious. And I woke up to tell about it.
After my room came into focus and I got my bearings, I quickly reviewed the scene before it evaporated. As I delved into the meaning, a realization surfaced:
Has the abundance of caution I've been taking to protect my health seeped into other areas of my life?
Am I currently not taking risks that I should be taking?
I decided the dream was a wake-up call.
Nothing is certain. That was true before COVID and it will remain true when we emerge from this surreal chapter. We delude ourselves whenever we believe we have control over future outcomes. But, at the same time, we need to take action toward our goals in order to make any progress.
And going for goals, well, that involves a measure of risk-taking. Always has, always will. And, if we don't go for our goals, we don't get to enjoy the small wins along the way.
And that’s what life is ultimately. A path paved with potential risks and potential small, happy wins. That's how I see it anyway.
My dream reminded me that, while I need to be mindful about COVID risks, I need to be conscious about inadvertently allowing "an abundance of caution" to serve as a blanket template for how I live my life.
An abundance of caution does not provide space for abundance.
You, too. Remember the goals you’ve stayed healthy for. Keep on keeping on in your quest to make them a reality.
A thrilling path filled with risks -- and abundance -- is before you.
Check out this book by Danielle LaPorte and this podcast hosted by Ilise Benun for awesome inspiration about taking risks in your creativity and work goals.
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