During the past week I came across a quote that caught my attention right away; I felt that it embodied how I feel about this season of life.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
As a young girl I don’t think I would have called myself brave or daring, rather I was most comfortable with things that were steady and safe. Certainly I could get excited about the “idea” of taking big, bold action but in the end I would always stay safely on shore!
I believe that my fear of failure kept me on tasks and in situations that had fairly sure outcomes, no real risk or adventure involved. I never wanted to feel the weight of personal disappointment nor did I want to disappoint anyone. Thus, I did very little that was competitive in my early years.
In High School I branched out and joined the Swim Team; practicing hard to prepare for the swim meets on the weekends. I remember one particular swim meet where I realized no one was in the lanes next to me and I felt a twinge of excitement that, perhaps, I was going to be the first one to the finish line. As I pulled to the edge of the pool with all the speed I could muster I popped my head out of the water to find that, actually, I was the last one in! That was my last swim meet.
Today, with years of hindsight under my belt, I fully recognize the value of taking risks, challenging myself, throwing off extreme cautions that choke my ability to dream, and giving myself permission to “fail forward.” Without being free to “sail away from the Harbor” I would never have had the life I have full of rich memories, opportunities, relationships, and fresh challenges!
Everyday I learn that life is short, mistakes only cause me to grow, challenges strengthen my resolve, and risk makes me depend more on God in every way. So, 20 years from now I don’t want a laundry list of things I should have done; wanted to do~yet feared exploring! Rather I would love to have a journal full of memories, experiences, and adventures to recall with satisfaction!
What about you? Playing it safe, hugging the shoreline? Perhaps today is your day to explore what it would look like to “catch the trade winds in your sails.” Dream big! 🙂