When I was in college, during the first month of school we would have a huge poster sale. It was an opportunity for students to make their spaces their own by choosing wall art. I found many great pieces over four years, but my favorite was never hung on a wall. It currently sits in my desk organizer as a constant reminder to read and reflect. Instructions for Life, written by the Dalai Lama.
1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
When I first read this, it was probably the reason I bought the poster. Of course, the other eighteen instructions are just as meaningful and important to any aspect of life. This one just struck me when I need it. On a conscious level, we recognize that in order to achieve big or even to take the next step in life, there’s going to be some risk involved, not a lot, just a bit. On a subconscious level, though, we know that the risks could be huge. The consequences of our actions could be like the butterfly in China causing the rain in the Amazon. We recognize that bad things could happen. But really awesome things could happen too. By learning to swim, someone could be the next Olympic champion. Someone just might get that promotion that they’ve worked so hard to get. By asking that girl in the corner to dance or on a date, you could meet the love of your life.
It takes a willingness to fail, and a lot of the time, we don’t want to think about that part. I just recently went for a promotion. It’s the second step to my dream job. I’d be a paraprofessional library staff member, doing what librarians do. Sure, I’m working on my degree, but I don’t have it yet. I am nervous and afraid and excited. If I don’t get the job, I’ll stay in my current position for as long as I’m able, then move on. If I don’t get the job, I’m still in school and my current position offers me the flexibility to do my best on my schoolwork during the day and work at night. If I get the job, I get to put into practice the skills and competencies that I’m learning in school. I get the schooling and the application almost instantly. If I get the job, I have a much better position from which to work towards my personal LIS goals. If I get the job, I’ll make more money, which means I can save more money. It means I can put more money towards my student loans and my car note. It’s not really about the money, but that’s a pretty nifty bonus.
That’s just on a professional level. On a personal level, I am definitely one of those people who does not like heartbreak. Yeah, it’s a part of life, but I don’t want that part. In my perfect world, I meet the girl of my dreams, we get married and have babies. We have our jobs. We have our interests outside of each other and the kids. We have a well-rounded life. But the world isn’t perfect, not even close. There may be a meet cute, but I have to go out and search for that. I have to go out into that imperfect world to find my ideal mate. Why can’t she just come to me? I’m a homebody. I don’t want to go out every weekend to bars and clubs. I’m not that girl. But if I don’t take the risk that meeting people presents, I’ll never have the future I want. That doesn’t mean that I need to be out every weekend at the bars and clubs, but out socializing with people, doing new things. Maybe joining a program like Events and Adventures, which I’ve heard so much about. I actually considered it for a while, but was too nervous. Maybe I’ll get back on OKCupid or some other online dating site, but I worry about creepers. I thought I’d join Dattch, but it hasn’t made its way to my area yet. If it does, and I’m still single, sure I’ll try it. It’s the risks involved with dating and socializing that I don’t want to take, but if I don’t, I’ll be alone. Relationships don’t just happen by sitting in the living room and watching tv.
So, this first instruction is what I’m working on right now. Recognizing the risks involved and doing whatever it is anyway. Everything involves some kind of risk, even watching a tv episode (you’re favorite character might die or the obvious ship will continue to be overlooked).
Until next time, my lovelies.