Venturing into the Unknown
BY: T. Franklin Murphy | October 2018 (edited December 3, 2021)
Carefully and courageously moving forward in a complex world.
Social media and the internet have created an influx of purported experts on life that bombarded us with advice, offering diverse opinions—mostly oversimplified hogwash. Whether advising on investing money, improving relationships, or achieving happiness, instruction from unproven sources often conflicts and over-generalizes. Ultimately, it’s our life and we must live with the results. Just as the exuberant child with a small cape would be wise to listen to parents before jumping, we should also seek wisdom, but we must be careful, scrutinizing advice for effectiveness before offering precious resources to a new endeavor.
"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
A collection of wise others can provide a wider perspective, offering instructive and valuable insights. Instead of blindly charging ahead, we may avoid painful consequences through openness to outside input. Our goals often need refining, adjusting to new knowledge. Some goals are simply dreamy, based in foolishness, with a little investigation, listening to those with experience, we may choose to abandon misguided aspirations altogether.
Venturing into the unknown is courageous. Many world-changing discoveries have been uncovered by heroes willing to scrap conventional wisdom. The fantastic inventions are products of courageous risk—but success isn’t guaranteed by risk alone. Success also demands skill, wisdom and opportunity. Those that haphazardly jump at every dream will experience many costly failures, perhaps significant losses requiring prolonged recoveries. We possess finite resources. Our time, money and relationships cannot consistently be sacrificed chasing imaginary rainbows—failures accumulate leaving deforming scars.
"Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy."
No advice is universal. We’re all different, needing pushes in different directions. Some should abandon well-trodden paths of security to chase more dreams; others, however, need more discretion, implementing more structure to their choice. Since articles, books and internet blogs encourage from a distance, the same advice may be harmful or helpful depending on an individual's needs.
We must examine our souls to determine our specific needs. No advice is all-incorporating. Unfortunately, some advice is simply wrong, sounding good but without merit. In the complexity of life, actions must be personally scrutinized for soundness. Self-reflection can quietly identify our fearful and avoiding behaviors, as well as our dangerous and risky behaviors. With clearer knowledge of self, we can make adjustments, and venture into the rich unknown.
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