“Every time we choose safety, we reinforce fear.”
“Looking back, of course, it was irresponsible, mad, forlorn, idiotic, but if you don’t take chances then you’ll never have a winning hand, and I’ve no regrets.”
This is about safety … fear … and those who dare.
I imagine that daring is mostly about fear … or the ability to face fear. Because to ‘dare’ is all about stepping away from safety … and making some decision, in some form or fashion, to ‘go for it.’
That said … I almost began with “qui audet adipiscitur” … “who dares, wins” but elected to not do so.
To me it seems to imply those who dare … well … win. As in ‘the only way to win is to dare.’
To dare is to win.
That’s not always true.
Those who dare certainly have a chance to win … but they can also lose.
By the way … “qui audet adipiscitur” is the motto with the British Special Air Service <SAS>. In addition, the motto has been used by nine elite special forces units around the world that in some way have historical ties to the British SAS.
While I am using latin <hopefully correctly … because I do not speak latin> a well-known Latin saying with that same basic meaning is “audaces fortuna juvat” … or … “luck smiles on the daring” <often stated as ‘fortune favors the bold>.
Here is the deal.
I love being bold. I love encouraging some to ‘dare to do.’
Being daring, flippantly, is foolish.
Daring is a decision of the moment … not a decision of Life. People who make daring a Life decision tend to have short lives. And to suggest that they ‘lived life to its fullest’ is not only trite … but also foolish.
They simply lived a shorter life than they could have because they couldn’t discern when to be daring and when not to be daring <and therefore simply always having an on switch>.
Daring is about choice.
And while just shoving the whole concept of a ‘life of daring’ up a bunch of people’s asses … I will then also suggest a full Life contains some moments of daring.
Simplistically … the Life daring formula is this:
No daring is bad.
All daring is bad.
Some daring is good.
And that is where ‘to dare’ becomes all about choiceful choices.
It becomes all about discerning the moments to leave safety, to face fear … and dare to ‘do’ something.
<by the way … practice makes you better at this>
Life will definitely provide you periods in ‘human affairs’ which represent opportunities … if you dare to make the choice to try and take advantage of the opportunity.
“There are seasons, in human affairs, of inward and outward revolution, when new depths seem to be broken up in the soul, when new wants are unfolded in multitudes, and a new and undefined good is thirsted for.
There are periods when … to dare, is the highest wisdom.”
William Ellery Channing
Daring, in Life, isn’t really about the bleeding edge of courage … it is more likely embodied in simply doing what you can do to put yourself in the way of as much opportunity as possible.
Simplistically … Life will deal you a hand.
And that is mainly a matter of luck.
But the way you play the hand is a matter of skill and resilience … and … well … daring.
I purposefully attached luck to daring.
Yeah … yeah … yeah … people will debate with me on that.
“People make their own luck” is the main comeback.
That’s .. well … bullshit.
Let’s face it.
Sometimes you need a little luck. Not always. And you certainly cannot depend on it … but sometimes … just face it … you just need some luck.
And this gets me back to ‘practice makes perfect’ and becoming better at when and where to dare. You can practice luck.
A guy named Professor Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, has carried out studies on luck and its effect on people. And he believes lucky people follow their instincts:
‘It is very easy to take an unscientific approach to luck and simply speculate about what does and doesn’t make people lucky.
The best work into the topic has involved scientific research and discovered that luck is indeed all in the mind, and that people can change their luck by thinking and behaving like a lucky person.’
Luck, and daring to do, are tricky things. And your first experience can dictate some relatively absurd future behavior.
If you first step into the ‘I dared to do’ pool is successful … it seems to imbue an exponentially warped larger sense of ‘I can do anything.’
Conversely, if your first step into the ‘I dared to do’ pool almost drowns you … well … you have an increased sense of ‘I belong on the shore.’
We see many people so focused on ‘changing their luck’ they become blind to reality … and a similar group of people who think ‘I need to be more daring more often in order to get to where I want to get to.’
And inevitably they come crashing to a halt <albeit these are the same people who look back and see the few ‘when it worked out in my favor’ among the many ‘wow I got fried’ moments and continue the absurd behavior.
Luck & daring is inevitably made by making good choices in when to test luck and when to test daring.
And ultimately it all comes down to one thing – fear.
And managing your fear.
You may fear ‘I am no longer lucky.’ <and play on seeking affirmation of your ‘luckiness’ blind to whether it is the best time to try your luck>
You may fear ‘I have never been lucky.’ <and you do not even get in the game … never leave safety>.
You may fear ‘I dared and lost … so daring is bad.’ <to be clear … one moment in which you are not ‘enough’ is not a reflection of other moments … in other words … you don’t see the concept of ‘moment’ as contextual but rather as similar>.
You may fear ‘if I don’t dare I won’t win.’ <more often putting you in increasingly bad situations which you should not have dared an actually increase the degree of difficulty>
I told you this whole thing was hard.
Managing fear is hard. Really hard. And those who state ‘no fear’ are lying <or have some psychological disorder>.
I sometimes fear that we make ‘to dare’ sound so monumental that it … well … becomes a more daunting choice for us to make.
If you think about it … to dare is simply a Life choice. One of which we make as part of all the decisions and choices we make each and every day.
Just look really really close at your Life and each day.
You will find the little moments in which you dared to do something.
The moments that if you told someone around you that you ‘dared to do’ something … most would laugh and suggest it wasn’t daring.
Baloney. No. Bullshit. They are wrong.
They are the little moments which make you alive. The little moments in which you dared Life and won. The little moments which seem a little brighter than the other often gray moments.
I believe most of us ‘dare to do’ much much more often than we give ourselves credit for.
And if we actually gave ourselves credit maybe we would be better at managing the truly more big daring moment decisions and choices.
Just think about this …
“I will take the sun in my mouth
and leap into the ripe air
with closed eyes
to dash against darkness”
To dare, the big moments or the little moments, is to leap into the ‘ripe air alive.’
Fear & dare are two words which seem to take on a big Life of their own.
And you know what?
They are littler than they imagine.
And you should treat them as littler things.