It’s easy to find reasons not to move forward. Fear is such a powerful motivator that it seems we even seek it out sometimes as an avoidance technique. Fears are exactly what keeps an otherwise talented person from becoming what they want, it’s what stops them from achieving a life that they truly desire.
Many aspire to the lofty seat of consulting or contract work. The idea of self employment has become very popular in an age where lay offs are as common as the news papers who deliver news of them. Yet, having been born, raised and bred in a society which preaches the safest possible courses, the paths which offer the least resistance and most social capital.
Water is often considered one of the most powerful elements. Poets, philosophers, business leaders, martial artists, nearly everyone has summoned water as a positive metaphor in their respective fields. Rivers flowing towards lakes and oceans, oceans symbolizing mystery and power. No one, however, seems to discuss what water is doing wrong.
Water is always going downhill. Water follows the course of least possible resistance. When it hits an obstacle, it looks for ways around rather that finding ways through. A river will go for hundreds of miles to circumnavigate a mountain range. And when water hits a cliff? When it’s back is against the edge? Where does it go? Water jumps. Water Falls. Water keeps running.
Do we want to be water? keeping yourself trapped by fear will keep you running like water. In a safe, assured path that everyone else is floating down. You’ll start close to the top of the mountain with your ambitions and will – despite your progress – be pulled further and further from your dreams of the summit.
Water very rarely rises. When it does – tides, waves – it does so only temporarily. Water only rises by the will of talented and dedicated individuals. Humans are the only time water ever rises. We build dams to create lakes, we redirect rivers, we create fountains. The human capacity for leadership, innovation and dedication is the only thing that can make water stop running.
So why are you running? What’s holding you back? What stream are you caught within that is keeping you bound downstream, away from you goals? Are you paddling against the current, working to head back upstream?
It’s a difficult task. Often the only way we’re given a chance to get out of that water is to completely step out, and that can be even scarier. Leaving a job with no guarantees is a terrifying prospect, but it’s also the best way to ensure you can dedicate your energies to getting back toward that summit.