The inherent danger of the “careful” life

“Careful lives seem so forgiving
But in those lives there’s no one living”
from Noise, by Gavin Creel

The lines from “Noise” which I quoted above have been echoing throughout my psyche lately, driving me forward.
I recognize that I need not be foolhardy and simply ignore my instincts, but I also have come to realize that I’m not truly using my instincts as much as I could.

If you ask a bunch of kindergarteners if they can sing or dance, they will all quickly respond with a hearty “Yes!”. Ask the same of a group of high-schoolers and see what you get.

I’ve been losing too much of myself in my concerns of what other people may think, or how they might judge me.
I’ve been losing my creativity to caution.

Years ago I was invited to participate in an art show and put up my works alongside a number of very talented artists.
The work I presented was crude, minimalist, odd.
The other artists were classically trained and their work was classically beautiful.
I was mocked openly by some of the artists.
Did my work belong in that particular show?
The people who invited me to present should have known better; I should have known better.
Curiously I did sell one painting to someone who treasured it.

If I had known beforehand what would happen, I would never have shown my face in that studio.
I also would have lost out on that one interaction which even today, so many years later, still soothes the ache of the mockery.

This next part is hard to write, hard to “say out loud” but here goes: I am good at what I do, very good, in fact.
As a Health and Wellness Coach I have been able to help people make lasting changes in their lives.
I am proud of that; I am grateful to be able to do so.

But it’s hard to express that without thinking about all the other people in the world who are probably reaching much larger audiences than I do.

So…here I sit…and it finally dawns on me that if I reached one person and helped change just one life for the better, then I have succeeded.

It’s true, my writing isn’t as polished as others’.
My talks probably aren’t as awe-inspiring.
The accolades, nowhere near as resounding.

But, the people I’ve helped will now help themselves, they will be able to give more to others, and they in turn…you get the idea.

So, take care…but not by being so careful that you don’t live – take care to live loud!
Get out there and make some noise!

About zolfw

I am an avid trail runner and fitness enthusiast, an accomplished cook, a lover of cinema and literature (although I read everything from graphic novels to professional psychology tomes, neither extreme being literature in the strict sense) . I am a retired Health and Wellness Coach. I am a husband, father, grandfather, and uncle.
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