“Love forgives shortcomings.” – Akan proverb
Life is a huge maze. And, interestingly, the layout is different for each of us. For each one, however, the maze is winding and can sometimes be tortuous. And as one gets older, it gets bigger, thicker and scarier. The clues we receive from others with regard to navigating the maze do not always work for us. In short, there are no guarantees. You just have to step out and take the next turn. Some steps you might have to take after a ton of analysis, while others you simply have to because it appeals to you. Whichever method motivates a step, the most important action is taking that step.
Like an adventure, every step is risky and quite tricky. The world might either applaud you or might jeer at you. This is where our individual struggles with our inner-selves begin. It starts with making sense of who we are, and then it jumps to what we are here for and how we can make any contribution to what is existing.
This leads us to the strange feeling of striving to fill our thoughts, words and work with that which makes sense and is right. More often, we have a shadowy feel about what to do and how do it, but we are not too sure it will land dry and safe.
Like pieces of a jigsaw, we can make out the picture in our minds and yet we are afraid the piece in our hands might not fit into the spot we are about to place it. That is probably what most people refer to as ‘doubt’, but it is as real as the rising of the sun. None, not even the most dynamic of humans, can comfortably say they do not have doubts about their choices.
Sometimes, the desire of ensuring we take the next step better than we did the last time creates anxiety. Brooding over getting it right can paralyse us, and ultimately prevent us from taking the step at all. We do not realise that we are not taking the step because there is no adrenaline that comes with the paralysis. We simply go about doing what we are doing and yet we never take the next step. It is like the sweat we experience when we dance in the rain. We never appreciate the sweat because we cannot feel it. But then, how can we? The wetness of the raindrops desensitises our feelings with their overwhelming chill.
Such unconsciousness restraints are just an inevitable part of life. The important thing is that we accept them, and address and overcome them. We must act in spite of them. And to do that, we need to appreciate that we do not have knowledge of everything; neither are we divine to ensure we never get anything wrong. Thus, some of our steps might be wrong.
However, getting a step wrong and refusing to correct it is problematic. Not only do you affect yourself negatively, but you become like a boil under an armpit. You create an imbalance in the harmonious gravity of our humanity. Be courageous enough to accept your flaws and correct them. They will only make you a greater individual.
The point is to learn how to be less afraid of taking initiatives. And to do that, we should be taking more steps. Inaction causes us to be more fearful. What we should bring to the fore of our consciousness is that every step you take in the maze should strengthen humanity – no matter how easy or hard, scary or tough it might be. Your step should give me wings to fly, and the flapping of my wings should generate enough force to propel you upward and enable you to soar with the eagles. In cases where your step inhibits the growth of any person’s wings, that individual cannot generate enough force to enable you to rise as well. So, let us ensure our steps do not step on others. Instead, they should become prints that illuminate the path for all others.
Sadly, too many of us stray along the middle-path – hoping to find the solid ground that enables us to spring high up into the clouds. You need to understand that your desire for the world to find you interesting, witty, cocky and all the adjectives that generate a buzz, can only become a reality when you walk on the extreme edges. You need to step out differently, and you need to do what you do so well it gets fingers pointing at you and parents telling their children to strive to be like you. That is what dreams are all about. We dream dreams so that we can have the ideal, for the ideal is possible. We must always remember that as long as one person has been able to achieve anything, so can we.
Lest we forget, the point of triumph is not always to achieve the outcomes we visualise. Rather, it is about taking the initiative to implement the vision. The reality is we are all lost. Very few of us will be found in this lifetime. All of us, however, can be found after we are gone. But to be found, we need to leave a legacy. We need to carve an inspiring legacy, one that contributes to the thriving of humanity. Otherwise, we will be lost forever. Fortunately for us, everyday learning affords us greater control over ourselves and our environment. Let us take advantage of this advantage at our disposal, and take steps to make living meaningful for ourselves and everyone else.
Kodwo Brumpon is a management consultant and a life coach who inspires individuals, groups and corporate bodies to think and feel that which is true, and helps them to positively respond to that which is beautiful, while nudging them to let goodness govern their actions. Comments, suggestions and requests should be sent to him at email@example.com