Leaping in the Dark
I recently signed up for a 10-day landscape photography workshop in Iceland. This is something I should not have done — or so my brain warned me. But my heart disagreed.
“You’re too busy”, said my brain. “Have you forgotten that you’re going back to school? The timing could not be worse. I hate to say it, but you’re insane.”
“I don’t care”, said my heart. “I really want to go to Iceland.”
“You shouldn’t even consider this”, shouted my brain, which had several other excellent arguments as to why I should pass up this opportunity. But my heart kept saying the same thing: “This is my dream and it will make me happy to go. And who knows if I’ll ever have this chance again?”
So I signed up. I often have these brain versus heart dilemmas. And I almost always follow my heart. So far, my heart has led me to some pretty wonderful places, but of course it’s impossible to know how things might have gone had I allowed my brain to lead the way.
One thing I’m sure of is that fear is not the best guide for making decisions. When you think about it, there’s always something terrible that could go wrong when we try something new: we might be killed, we could lose all of our money, people might laugh at us, we could catch some dreaded disease — the list is endless. Yes, the world is a scary place. But it’s also exciting.
I recently read a quote by Henry David Thoreau that I found rather alarming: “We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.”
Leap in the dark? I don’t care too much for that idea. But I see his point. There’s always an element of risk when we leave our comfort zone. And unless we leave our comfort zone, we’re not going to get to the top of whatever mountain we’re trying to climb. Unless you quit the job you hate, how can you start the one you’ll love? There must be a leap of faith, as frightening as it may be.
So yes, I AM going to Iceland. I will leap in the dark and see where I land. And I’ll let you know how it goes…