“The 3 C’s in life: choice, chance, change. You must make the choice, to take the chance, if you want anything in life to change.” ~anonymous
This weekend I said yes to a very big chance. I never imagined this kind of opportunity was out there. I never imagined I’d be asked to take it. I have no idea how it’s going to turn out. But something in me knew this was not a coincidence, that I had to try, despite the fact that it’s a very long shot that it would work out. And you know what? It felt liberating. It felt empowering to just try. And no matter how this goes, maybe that’s the lesson—say yes and try.
“Better an ‘oops’ than a ‘what if?”” ~Beau Taplin
Why are we so afraid of making a mistake or looking like fools? Are we afraid of embarrassment? Of ridicule? Of pain? Of failure? I got over the feeling of rejection a long time ago. I have seen too many people miss their chance, too many people settle for lives that are less than what they really wanted. And by the time they could really admit that to themselves, the time was gone. It was too late. Their lives have been a cautionary tale for me. I stopped waiting and hoping and wanting, and I just decided to give it all a whirl. Everything. And a lot of things haven’t worked out, and a lot of things have. And none of it would have been possible if I didn’t decide to try. So now at least I go to bed at night knowing I didn’t leave anything on the table. I play every card I have every day, knowing that tomorrow I get a new hand.
Science and art are not mutually exclusive. There’s so much cross-over, so much cross-inspiration. Be a scientific artist, or an artistic scientist. They are languages, forms of communication about the experience of the world and our place in it. They are dialogues. They are stories of discovery and chance and change. Find them, write them, and share them as clearly as you can. It’s all beautiful.
I love this piece in the New York Times about taking chances. The bottom line is we don’t take enough of them. We’re so likely to coast, content to be comfortable with routine even if we’re unhappy. We worry about what it would take to make a big change, even one we’ve always wanted to make. We have to toss away fear and embrace the risk of falling flat on our face, in front of everyone, and then we have to get up again and look everyone in the eye. Sends a shiver down your spine, doesn’t it?
And I say, “Do it anyway.” Go out there right now, into the world, and do exactly what you want to do. Don’t settle, don’t shrink, and don’t take the easy way out. Do what’s difficult for no other reason than because it’s what you want to do. You’ll find that everyone who really matters is cheering you on, and you will inspire them to follow their own journey of impossibility. You can do this.
“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.” ~Rumi
How many times have you wondered if you’re good enough for a job, a person, or just something wonderful? Understand this: you are enough. You are so much more than enough. Forget about being too young or too old for something. Forget about your regrets and self-doubt and fears. That thinking doesn’t serve you. You’re better than that. You’ve always been better than that. Now go get the life you want, the whole life you want, because that’s exactly what you deserve.