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The Path Less Traveled: Pain, Risk, Reward

The chances of you being born? 1 in 400 trillion.

Humans as we are, are risk takers defying the odds. You don’t need a local or national underdog story to inspire you, you only need to take a look in the mirror. An incredible set of circumstances has lead you to life on earth and every single thing you have ever done in your life has lead you to this moment in time where you’re reading this article. Ironically, once we are here we hum a very different tune, we look for safety and comfort and paths well paved with plenty of lessons behind them so that we don’t have to go it alone. If we continue to choose the path that others have forged, what then, if anything, are we learning about ourselves, our make up, the fabric of our very being? nothing at all.

When we calculate our risk to reward ratios we often hear things like “you have a 1 in 4 chance of success” or, “there is a 25 percent chance of success”. It is most often when we get to physically see the chances of success that we back away from the risk, yet here you are. The very irony in you being born a product of a 1 in 400 trillion chance should spur creative thought that you are indeed capable of anything despite the odds or excuses, yet we limit our divine creative center every day in exchange for playing it safe as we hurl through time and space on a floating rock blazing the cosmos. Our inability to look at the bigger picture forces us to concede to small minded thinking. Our excuses are that “we must provide for our family”, “we have it pretty good right now”, and other things we convince ourselves of so that we can avoid taking chances once here. We have no faith in being able to provide for our families or faith in making it out the other side of risking it all and living good. We are most often unable to see ourselves succeeding in our own imagination; what then, is imagination at all? What’s worse is that you certainly weren’t born this way, what happened to all the industrial revolution inventors? where are the modern trail blazers?

Often people ask me “what the hell do you know about opening a coffee shop or running a coffee shop?” or some variation of that. I always think it is hilarious that my potential success is deduced to having to know all aspects of everything to get started. Elon Musk literally put his Tesla vehicle into spacial orbit and the people asking me about my personal knowledge don’t think I can open a small internet cafe in 2020 because? because their self-limiting beliefs have totally consumed them. When you really begin to look at just how bad the self-limiting ideological gap is currently, there are many things we can attribute it to and although it may sound cliche, it likely does have something to do with social media in general. When Thomas Edison was inventing his source of light, when enlightenment era thinkers were creating the document which has been used to free millions since 1776, they were not consumed by others opinions 24/7 or able to compare themselves to others at the click of a button on phones. The people we remember and revere did what they were called to do with attention to detail and pride in their work despite vast risk and a painful path ahead of them. The people we remember and revere didn’t accept excuses or pity, they didn’t pin the entirety of morality on social construct or opinions, they turned off and tuned out the rest of the world and went to work.

As you read this, ask yourself if you are doing what you were called to do, what you feel in your soul is the right choice, ask yourself if you feel as though you are in someway forcing yourself into a complacent lifestyle because that’s what you were conditioned to do. Self limiting beliefs are passed down through generations, education systems, social interactions and more. Our inability to break away from constant comparison forces us to believe we are only capable of what our neighbor is capable of and so on and so forth. It takes a risk taker, a dreamer, a bold idea to be able to break away from the chains of self-limitations placed upon us, enslaving our creative process and soul into indentured servitude where we spend our life working for another’s dream or goal rather than our own.

I’m not necessarily sure of the the “point” of life yet, I may not get it until I die, but I am learning a lot about what I believe it is and testing my theories, which have so far rewarded me with great personal achievement. It is my belief that we have, all of us, something to learn here, right now in this lifetime. Each day we wake up, every moment we take a breath, we can learn more about ourselves. It is my belief that although difficult at times, we should be grateful and exuberant that we get to even exist. It is my belief that we were created to be great, to find ourselves, to learn about ourselves, to explore the possibilities and ideas surrounding life as we know it. If it is statistical data you need to reassure you that following the path you feel called to is worth your time and effort, look no further than the world around you, the foliage turning dirt into works of art, life existing where life would otherwise be denied despite vast, incalculable odds. All around us we can point and see odds being defied and the creative process flourishing. We see that some level of suffering is necessary for this to occur, life does not guarantee that you will not hurt as you begin to take your arduous journey, it simply says “it’ll be worth it”.

The roller coaster ride involved with following your calling will seem reckless at times, often you will feel lost, and in very few instances as you get your feet on the ground and begin to offer yourself more, will you have the opportunity to actually taste the success you’re baking up. Despite all of this, as you begin to move forward you will learn and develop lessons learned, which will in-turn propel you to great new personal heights not otherwise obtainable without taking the risk of following your calling. The very willingness to break away will allow you to begin the process of recognizing your thoughts and behavior and applying them in such a way that you can begin to expand your consciousness and spirituality. I’ve found that often the greatest risk we can take in this lifetime is not taking a risk at all. I’ve found that you will recognize more pain in complacency than taking a chance on yourself. I’ve found that grateful thinking undeniably attracts us to situations to be even more grateful for. I’ve learned that the pain and sacrifice necessary for personal reward and higher consciousness, pales in comparison to the anguish we will face in the form of regret as we lay motionless on our death bed and begin to drift off from our vessel, the vessel we used only to play it safe in a world that constantly defy’s the odds.

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