Jan 2, 2011

"Life Well Lived"

"Here's what I've learned so far. First, risk is an inherent part of a life well lived. If you stick your neck out, whether by climbing mountains or speaking up for something you believe in, your odds of winning are at least fifty-fifty. If you take risks with preparation and care, you can increase those odds significantly in your favor. On the other hand, if you never stick your neck out, your odds of losing--as in losing out on life's joys--are pretty close to 100 percent. This all seems obvious as I write it, except that we forget it for long periods of time--and feel unsatisfied with our lives as a result.

"...Learning is, in a sense, the flip side of risk. Learning is what happens when you risk a journey beyond what you know and are comfortable with. Some people my age act like they've seen it all and have nothing much else to learn. But I'm still a learner."
                                                                        --Jim Whittaker, A Life On The Edge, pp. 264-265

Whittaker was 70 when he wrote this, from his sailboat with his wife and kids, sailing around the world. He is also the first American to summit Mt. Everest, and the original CEO of REI.

Nikon D7000, 85mm f/1.8 lens, f/2.0, 1/1000s, ISO 800.
Seems like a worthwhile sentiment at the New Year; encouragement to learn and grow this year--to be curious and act on it. Stick your neck out a little, 'cause all you really have to lose is the chance for joy and greatness. So, while you're curious about something, like Little E. here, go find out about it. Do something--anything!--just get up and do it, and you'll be on the right track to finding joy. 

Or at least you'll find a little contentment and probably some info you can use while playing Cranium next New Years Eve.

Nikon D7000, 85mm f/1.8 lens, f/2.0, 1/1000s, ISO 800.