I am on the home stretch for my year-long adventure. With only three months to go, I think I should be sad to see the year end. I feel the opposite. I can’t wait to sit back and look at all I have accomplished and enjoy what I’ve learned and experienced. Oh, and a nap would be nice too.
But I still have flying to do. Flyboarding to be exact. If you haven’t seen flyboarding think of Marty McFly and his hoverboard in Back to the Future 2. Now put that over the water and raise me off the ground by 8 feet* (*I am 5’7”, so that really 2’5” which still impresses me).
I’ve seen flyboarding exhibitions several times and watched it on television too. It looked dangerous and exciting. Which is why I just had to try it. Even when they were giving us the low-down on how to work the board and position our bodies, I was frightened. Once I fell the first time, as you do, I realized it didn’t hurt, it was lots of fun, and I was safe.
I am safe.
I feel like that will have to be my mantra after all the adventures end. It is kind of the human condition to think of the bad stuff to prepare ourselves in the worst case. Then when the good stuff is just okay, not amazing, you are adequately prepared.
If we think that everything is going to go as planned, we will, undoubtedly, be disappointed because very few events run flawlessly. Don’t start telling me about “The Secret.” That is not the same. We can think good things and expect good things to happen, and I mostly do that. But, I also expect good things to be less than perfect. I’m rarely disappointed but the world. I’m disappointed by people often, but by the world rarely.
Keeping our minds safe with these little tricks is not fatalist. In fact, I think it is good measure. The world will throw bullshit at us and ask us to duck. If we don’t anticipate the throw, we could be in for a messy ride.
There is also something kind of magical about being pleasantly surprised. If we think the world is perfect, there is never a pleasantly surprised moment. Sure, there is still pleasant, but the surprise is gone. What kind of boring is a world without surprises?
Does this make any sense? What I think all of this is trying to say is that unpredictability used to be scarier. I know that isn’t where I thought this was going either. But, think of it. The flyboarding was unpredictable because I feared injury and humiliation but experienced neither. The anticipation of life’s events not living up to expectations is also variable. We fear harm and embarrassment most of those times too. Will I have someone to talk too? Will my kid fit in? Will I land that triple axle? Everyday worries.
New experiences, even ones you’ve had before, can be scary. If we tell ourselves, “I am safe,” and dive in, we will be safe. Our minds will protect us from the frightening outcome because it already fears the worst and that just isn’t going to happen. We are safe. The world isn’t so scary after all.
My Turning 50 Like a Boss Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid of the new. You are safe.
Check out the video: I can FLY!