Do something every day that SCARES YOU!
Whenever I see this quote on the Internet, I immediately think of doing something thrilling that I fear doing, although something inside tells me I would enjoy it. Like a bungee jump, skydiving or zip wire of some kind.
Perhaps we should look at it a little different.
According to the Buddha, we will experience these 8 vicissitudes during our lives no matter what our intention or actions may be.
- Pleasure and pain.
- Gain and loss.
- Praise and blame.
- Fame and disrepute.
I’d like to focus on just the first one, pleasure and pain, and how they affect our present circumstances as well as our future. We spend so much of our time either grabbing at the pleasurable side of life and pushing away the painful side.
When we are confronted with any kind of choice, we are going to immediately want to choose the pleasure, grabbing it with both hands and holding on like our life depends upon it.
Unfortunately, because we feel such enjoyment in the pleasure, it never seems to last very long; time flies when you’re having fun.
Then of course there’s the inevitable, after a while that newfound pleasure either becomes a normal part of life or we lose it.
Either way, we may continually try to recreate the pleasure and enjoyment we had.
Pain also doesn’t last but we still try to avoid it at all cost, so instead of grabbing, we push it away. We often become disconnected or find ourselves running from certain situations just to avoid the the little discomfort it will bring. I would also argue it doesn’t last any longer than the pleasure, or at least it doesn’t have too. The problem lies in our inability to deal with pain and our grabbing of the pleasure. We feel pleasure will ease the pain.
It doesn’t. I’ve done it; come out of one relationship into another and immediately the new relationship hides the pain from the old one. It reminds me of the quote similar to “the same thing that hurts us will heal us”, and in some cases, that’s true, but only if we take the time to deal with the pain.
Stay single, feel the pain and understand it. Let it cut really deep and at that point, you are able to heal in a way that doesn’t become more pain in the future.
Just like debt, you cannot solve one debt problem by winning on the scratchcards or by transferring your debt to another one. You need to learn to manage the debt, just like you need to learn to understand and listen to your feelings.
Now, I’ve gone slightly off topic, but that’s okay. There are no rules, right?
So when we are confronted with doing something that scares us each day, we shouldn’t just look at the pleasure side, which almost always gives us no long-term benefit.
Look at the pain and closely consider exactly what it is that’s causing you the pain that you are so frightened to deal with, those few things that you keep pushing away on the hope they might disappear. I fear a sky dive, but, I also fear phoning my bank, my boss, or my parents when I’ve got something to say I know they are not going to like.
Imagine the feeling when you’ve told your boss what is holding you back and making you feel like crap at work, or you’ve spoken to your parents about something they should really know.
So, do something every day that scares you.
Do that little thing you keep pushing away. It will give you long-term benefits, less stress, more sleep and simply improve your life just by dealing with it. Remember, the discomfort and pain will pass. The irony, is that over time you will realise you are choosing pleasure by dealing with the pain.
Go do it!