creativity, discovery, friendship, innovation, inspiration

Step 220: Life on Our Own Terms

“We start off scared, and we stay scared until we’re done.” ~ Ed Catmull, President and Co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios

I wish someone would just eliminate acronyms like BAU (business as usual) and SOP (standard operating procedures). At various times in my life, I tried to live by someone else’s standards. I wince with embarrassment when I think about those times. They landed me in situations that left me supremely unhappy. Those times of living by someone else’s definitions of success and happiness were like death by a thousand little cuts. I lost myself and spent a long time digging my way out of those messes.

Many of my friends are now going through intense times of self-rediscovery. They’re trying new things, exploring, re-framing, and growing. This work isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s painful and scary. They’re unsure where all of it will lead, if it leads anywhere at all. They keep reaching even when it feels like they’re reaching into the dark. I’m right there with them. I get it; we’re in this together. I’m proud of them and inspired by them. I can’t wait to see what they create next.

From the outside it might feel foolish to upset the apple cart, to take our perfectly fine lives and chuck it all for a more authentic, original dream. But I know we’re all right in taking this route. The truly crazy, risky path is to stay in place. Fear is a healthy, helpful feeling to have so long as we have enough courage to put that fear aside and keep going. I’m all for continuous re-invention. It keeps life interesting and regret at bay.