It is not easy to take risks. Let’s face it, by definition “risks” provoke a little anxiety if not outright fear.
It seems to me that the older we get, the easier it is to maintain our own personal status quo. Even in early adulthood, the pressures of accomplishing our goals…finishing school…getting a job…making enough money to live on…forces us to stay an a fairly narrow path of priorities.
There are 24 hours in a day and we have to choose how to use each one of them. Do I take this precious hour and … do the laundry…complete that report…catch up on e-mail…or do I do something different, something that beckons but just doesn’t fit into my pre-established priorities?
Mostly, we have to do the laundry, complete the reports and catch-up on e-mail to prevent our lives from unravelling. But every time? Every hour, every week? In fact, I would argue that we do far more damage to our lives by not making unconventional choices once in a while.
There is this great, amazing thing on the internet called National Novel Wrting Month (NaNoWriMo for short.) Have you heard of it? It’s crazy really. Every November, thousands of people from all over the world gather together on the Internet and pledge to write 50,000 or more words in 30 days. And they actually do it! I did it this past November.
You get a ton of support and encouragement from the incredibly enthusiastic staff of NaNoWriMo and the hundreds of volunteers who serve as writing cheerleaders. Yet, in the end it comes down to you, the hour, and the choice. Do I take the less chosen path or do I fold the laundry?
During the month of November, NaNoWriMo provides the motivation to shift your priorities and choose the risky path. (They also offer Camp NaNoWriMo every April. Guess what MY priorities look like this month?)
Find your own personal NaNoWriMo and experiment with choosing the risky hour. Maybe you can pick the first Saturday each month from 8:00-10:00am to draw, or sign-up for that new Hip Hop dance class at the Y. Has your knitting been calling to you from that pile in the corner? When’s the last time you sang a song?
Try it. Make a risky choice for one hour this week and see what it feels like. It’s good for you.