Diving In - Running Away


If I think about giving advice or about the things I wish I’d known 100 years ago, I think “diving in” and “running away” are two worthwhile actions to think about as you move through your life.

Inertia will hurt you, sure as anything. If you feel compelled to do anything – paint, go to college, swim the English Channel, leave college – what I know for sure is that you should do that. Whatever you feel a compulsion about – in your gut, in your heart – there is nothing stronger guiding you than that feeling. And if you have that feeling, whatever it is, it is likely right for YOU.

Diving into your compulsions, what you’re drawn to, is what I believe in. Even if, after the fact, you find it wasn’t right for you (which I doubt you will), I’ve seen it occur enough times for myself and others that I know that just the act of moving in that direction can lead to the next right direction. Taking one step in the right direction leads to the next right step and so on, and so on.

Taking that first step, diving in, will make all the difference for you. Moving, taking that leap of faith – head first.

I have seen so many people who haven’t dived in for a myriad of good reasons – the idea is too radical, too risky, too expensive, too flighty, the wrong time, too foo foo. So they stand on the shore and watch others dive in and succeed, all the while feeling in their gut that what they want more than anything is – that.

And they watch it slip away.

I feel standing on that shore, watching, is so wasteful. And painful. And will become more painful over time if you continue not to move in the right direction for you.

On the flip side, there is also “running away.” When you’re locked into something (a job, a marriage, a toxic friendship, bad habits) that aren’t serving you, you likely see it. You likely can feel in your gut that something’s off. Something’s not right for you. Running away, in this case, is as right a thing to do as is diving in. Running away is absolutely not quitting. Being brave enough to run away, to change course, can be as powerful to your life as diving in.

I’m a Taurus the bull – earth sign. Stability is both my strength and my weakness. It’s my super power.

In some situations.

But it can be debilitating in others. Recognizing it’s time to leave is as critical to your happiness and success as being stable and staying the course. I don’t really think “sucking it up” is the way to live the short lives we all have. I don’t think staying a bad course is good for you or anyone around you.

People change. The world changes. I’ve read the only surety is that all will change. So mutable, adaptable, flexible are really important qualities to work on so we can not just survive in this world, but thrive.

Julia Cameron said the worst you can say of a man is that he didn’t pay attention. I agree. I sure don’t want to get to the end of my life and say I didn’t really pay attention. I didn’t dive in. I didn’t have the guts to run away when it was needed.

At the end of our lives, the best thing you could say about us is that we’ve lived intentionally. We’ve not just gone through the motions, someone else’s motions. We’ve been deliberate in choosing and moving, diving in and running away, as needed. We problem solved, grew, learned, changed.

And acted.

On what was right for us.

That’s a legacy we can be proud of.

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