Friday, October 10, 2008

Going to Extremes

As I completed the firewalk, I was full of the feeling that if I could do that, I could do anything. How many times in our life have we felt like that? Sometimes when we leave our comfort zone, many more possibilities open up for us.

Have you ever decided to do something, then focused on the goal, and accomplished your goal?

It may take different forms, such as working two jobs to save up for a large purchase, to save some money for a rainy day, or going to school while holding a job. It can also be learning how to make do on less money until we are able to make more money. It can be about learning a new job skill.

Or a non-job skill, like playing a musical instrument, learning to dance, learning to sew or cook, developing a talent we did not know we had, such as psychic ability, writing or art. Perhaps hiking a greater distance than we had ever previously done. At times we have to go to extremes to discover our normal capacity. How many people have taken up yoga or tai chi later in life?

Collectively, we are learning more about energy than we ever cared to know before. Back when gas was 25 cents a gallon, nobody cared how many miles per gallon a car got. This crazy escalation of prices is causing us to look for new solutions. Am I glad prices went up? No, of course not. But this extreme has forced us to be more creative.

Did you ever get over a fear of public speaking by volunteering to speak? Did you ever volunteer to do a job, either paid or volunteer, just to see what it was like?

We are also learning about what it means to be successful. Some people have learned to remodel or repair their homes themselves rather than hire others to do it.

Maybe lots of people needed to die of emphysema and lung cancer before we figured out that cigarettes were not good for us. On the other hand, maybe we needed lots of scientists and doctors to confirm that cannabis really does have medicinal qualities before more people would listen.

Maybe we had to witness excesses before we could recognize what was reasonable in many areas of our life. Maybe we have to be put to extreme tests to expand our boundaries.

Extremes can serve good purposes even if we do not want to always live out there on the edge or die trying.

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