Advice can be helpful, especially when it can save your life. For example: “look both ways before crossing the street” and “always wear your seat belt.”
When I was a young (even into adulthood), I headed every warning. But I often found myself afraid to do much of anything–fearing I might get hurt or worse. I say this because for years I didn’t know how much I loved hiking. I was too cautious to even try it. But what I discovered is that there is an entire world out there that is wonderful, and beautiful–a world that I was missing out on.
About five years ago, I was working at a university as a volunteer service coordinator. My boss advertised an upcoming service project working on the Appalachian Trail in north Georgia. She said, “It is a rustic trip–there will not be indoor plumbing or bathrooms. There will not be showers everyday and it will be cold.” At first I thought, that sounds AWFUL, and then my boss notified me that I would have the opportunity to LEAD the week long project–taking 10 college students with me. After enlisting my husband as a chaperone, I was on board. To our surprise, I loved the trip, the long hours of hiking and hard work–I was a natural. I didn’t worry about all the things I was missing or all the dangers we avoided.
My husband and I led the trip again and have since returned on our own time. That trip was where my love for the outdoors–and for hiking was born.
Stepping out of our comfort zone can be challenging but it can also be rewarding. Sometimes we have to step outside to realize that there is a beautiful world out there. The same goes for our own worries and problems. We can worry our life away–to the point we are no longer making new friends, helping others, or trying to find solutions to our problems. But we change that and we can make a decision to see what is beyond ourselves.
It is important to always wear your seat belt, but it is not a good idea to duct tape yourself to the seat.