Survival, primary instinct our species has always had within our DNA; like all critters we react to overcome obstacles, to avoid incoming threats – yet safety of how we are and where we are is an illusion. Or delusion.
Survival of fittest is something we can easily dismiss, part of Darwin’s theories which well and properly apply to critters of so many species. We are a species too and we must both individually and as a group, make ourselves safe to survive.
Heading to higher ground before a flood is a good idea, but living a life pointed toward safety and away from danger does not make us immune to danger or available only for success. We need keep alert, keep our head in the game looking for opportunities that don’t exist yet. Many times we have to create them. Not in defense of ourselves, not fight v. flight, but keeping ourselves feeling sane even though some of our actions and ideas make others roll their heads as if we are completely ready for being locked in a rubber room.
Everything I ever started didn’t go as planned.
Excusing something isn’t working by someone else’s lack of effort or sense of urgency – ignoring I could be doing more and doing it better. Failure came too often. Should have failed more – having tried more, done more, achieved more …
Against a wall or backed into a corner I know my brain wants to go somewhere else, do something else, start something else, dream new things rather than staying focused 100% on problems at hand.
So often fighting distractions from my focus, ‘sticking to plan’ – way leading on to way, I learned those unexpected detours were often more worthy than mainstream flow, of what was planned.
Learned: move slower, keep eyes open.
Changed: less rigidly committed to ‘has to be this certain way’. I don’t let go of important things any easier, but I learned: less rigidity = more flexibility.
Cliché about windows opening when doors close fits many things but I question its validity.
I have contemplating some changes, so I’ve been reflecting back on those ‘necessity was the mother of invention’ moments from my past. I like that memory-lane stuff sometimes, and I wince too, because I see so much better now the opportunities I missed and the options I never tried.
Note to self: in next chapter – make more mistakes and implement better solutions.
Have you ever wondered what your current self would advise your 18 yr. old self to do? I have that one nailed: school, get a degree – maybe two, don’t worry about career yet, just figure out what you like. Get to know yourself. Set goals, measurable things to go after – but change them often. Be bold, be brave, trust your instincts on ideas. Make friends worth keeping. Make mistakes, personally and professionally try to do your best at everything and recognize that the more mistakes you make the more you learn. When it is right to do so, give up on ideas that don’t work and sometimes give up on people who’ve proven to be ‘not good for you’, but never ever give up on yourself.
Nobody gave me advice of any kind at that point. Looking back, clearly I’ve survived without out that kind of guidance but I also recognize how much further ahead I would be if I had: I’d be ahead in money. I’d have more long-term friends. I’d likely be doing different things for work, business etc. Otherwise I doubt things would be much different. I’d not have been swayed from other things I did – marrying the mother of my children, having my children, was what I was meant to do. Never regretted a moment of it. Everything else, if I’d had the advice I would now give, would have been different – not just because every choice changes all options for all other choices, but because there is no better way to live than by the result of what you do, how you do it and how you deal with people, period.