“A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious doing starts from within.” – Eudora Welty, American author (1909-2001)
What comes to mind when you think of someone who’s daring? Is it a mountain climber attempting to scale a formidable peak? Is it a brilliant researcher who discovers a cure for a disease that has been a scourge on humanity for centuries? Is it your loved one who inspects every room in the house upon your return to ensure that it’s safe to enter? Is it you?
Everyone has daring in them – although few recognize this ability. How do we know we are daring? How can we cultivate and nurture it so that it becomes yet another manifestation of who and what we are? As with most anything that is truly meaningful and has value, daring starts from within.
This should serve as some comfort to those who mistakenly believe that only great individuals are daring – or are capable of daring. If daring is inside of us all the time, we only have to unlock it, release it, acknowledge it. Daring doesn’t have to be world-shattering or loud or acclaimed by others to be real. You can be daring by embarking on an unknown path during a hike or trying out a new cuisine or walking up to some people you don’t know and striking a conversation.
Sheltered or in the world – neither of these matter when it comes to daring. You can display daring when you’re by yourself or with others. You can be daring at any time and any place.
Note that daring does not mean acting recklessly. Daring is pushing to your limits – but with reason and conscious thought of safety. Daring is not harming others or yourself. That’s inflicting pain, causing damage and producing negative consequences. Daring is positive, life-affirming and results in a greater sense of fulfillment and accomplishment.
So, how do you live a daring life? Here are some tips:
- Take a different path than you normally would.
- Always attempt to see things in a different perspective – rather than the usual routine.
- Make it a point to engage in conversation each week with at least one person you don’t know – this could be as simple as exchanging pleasantries at the supermarket with the cashier or bagger or saying hello to a fellow walker during your power walks in the neighborhood.
- If you think about doing something and the thought pops into your head “no,” turn that thought on its head and say “yes” instead.
- Give yourself permission to explore, to play, to do nothing but stare into space and dream, if that’s what you want to do.
- Try new experiences – these will broaden your horizons and help nurture your own daring spirit.
- Challenge yourself to go beyond – what you regularly do, where you always go, whom you frequently hang out with, and what you believe you are capable of.
- Recognize that you have the power to be daring – it’s not outside of you, but in you.