At a very young age, we repeatedly get to hear one very simple thing: “Don’t be silly.” Sooner than later we realise that being termed ‘silly’ becomes such a powerful determinant in the way we choose to live our lives, that we begin to do everything in our hands, to not look silly. And because we don’t want to look silly, we have a great, great loss: the loss of an opportunity to make ourselves explore what mistakes we make so that we learn from them and grow through them. We lose opportunities to see our own vulnerabilities, because in order to not be silly, we don’t let our versatility reveal itself either. This then, becomes a vicious cycle which in time, gets impossible to break out of.
The conditioning of punishment and the need to escape suffering becomes so strong that very few of us are ever willing to let go of that fear. It has been part of our upbringing, and then it becomes a part of us, which we then pass on to the future generations. Later, when we are beginning to age, when the days of our youth pass, we befriend that devilish and deadly, utterly deteriorating companion: regret.
It is ingrained in our minds so deeply that we should be striving for safety, security and stability, that we forget that in trying to succumb to these societal pressures, we are losing a large part of ourselves, a large part of our lives. In order to prevent a mistake, we are preventing our life to fully express itself within us. It is because of the fact that the society has imprinted on our minds so fiercely the belief that we should not ‘go wrong’. We have been taught to become afraid. The fear of being ‘unconventional’, the fear of loving too much, the fear of having to work too hard for our dreams, the fear of being left alone and behind, the fear of sounding too desperate or too distant, sometimes even the fear of being excessively correct… The list goes on. Fear is eating up the life within us, so terribly and so ruthlessly that it is manifesting in the form of terrible diseases: of the body, mind, and the soul.
Whether in relationships, our careers or while facing the everyday mundane problems that life constantly brings with itself, one has to learn to let go of one’s fear. Why can we not stand our own ground and learn to back ourselves up with the vast reservoir of strength we all possess? The strength that has the ability to guide us onward and forward despite every failure along the way because it teaches us that each time fear exists, it exists with the magical chance of helping us become greater human beings and conquer ourselves so that through the rest of our journeys, we can conquer our dreams.
Right from the beginning of time, there have been people who have outdone the rest: those few great humans that the world remembers and takes inspiration from. If we look at their lives, we generally find one common trait in their existence, that being fearlessness. Because in order to achieve anything substantial, you have to be willing to push your own limits and let your weaknesses know, that they too are your own weaknesses and the one person who can overcome them is you yourself. It’s a beautiful life where we can hear many more success stories, and we can only hear them if we take that step of letting go of our fears. Its not an easy step, because ultimately it is true that human beings are prisoners of their past, but human beings are also the same creatures who can get beyond that with their power of discrimination and ability to choose through free will.
We say quite easily, ‘that only happens in movies’, and more often than not, it is true that it only happens in movies. But if we honestly ask ourselves whether we took the radical steps and showed the same courage that protagonists in the movie have shown, we will know that the answer is a clear cut ‘no’. Their stories turn out to be extraordinary because they are willing to take extraordinary risks in their lives. Of course, in the movies it is much simpler because we definitely don’t get to see as many of the day to day defeats that we as common men do, and they have a limited time within which they have to make their point, but at the same time, it is important to be aware of and accept the fact that those very defeats are unavoidable because of the uncertainty of our own existence and of the existence of everything around us. Of course there are people who will never suffer, of course they will never face defeat, but that is only because they will not have tried. However, they are also the same people who will never enjoy the taste of victory and the reward of the suffering undertaken in the name of the things that are truly precious.
Failure is sure to happen when we are willing to conform to the expectations of everyone else rather than conforming to our own beliefs of our own capabilities. In order to please everyone else, we forget to please the only person who really matters in the larger scheme of things: ourselves. And why should we do it? Why should we not be willing to show some faith in ourselves and go on? Why should we not let that faith manifest in us in the form of courage, and thereafter make it our sole companion in everything we do. In my experience, the short cut to fearlessness is doing those things you love doing, those that you are passionate about, because the love we possess is the single most powerful force in the universe, and can be used very creatively. The only way forward is being able to support one another in our mistakes, and have the humility to accept that we made them and rise above thereafter. What’s the point in being conformist when the idea of conforming to an external entity’s idea of how your life should be cripples you from being capable of fulfilling your dreams? As long as you believe that you are doing the right thing, and your heart is in the right place, things will magically work out for you. Nothing brings about success the way a pure, fearless and courageous heart does.