5 Questions to Help You Face the Unknown and Be More Gamed for Life
"Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain."
Think how it would be like if you were able to face any unknown. And to do so, it would only require a simple set of questions. Would you want to know what those questions are, if by doing so, it will help you make life into an exciting game?
A game like baseball?
I don’t know enough about baseball to call myself a fan. But I do love going to the game. It’s my favorite slice of Americana. If you also happen to love baseball, you will undoubtedly love the Major League Baseball (MLB) spring training games. For the entire month of March, you can attend a game every day if you want to, and while the rest of the country is buried under snow, here in Arizona, you can get by with shorts and sandals. This could very well be the only place left where the average American can still afford to shell out ten bucks for a professional sporting event. And if you should find yourself drowsy from too much beer, peanuts and cracker jacks, you can lie down and take a nap on the cool, freshly cut grass.
That’s one way to enjoy baseball. The other is to see it as a model for life.
When a ballplayer steps up to the plate, he can only anticipate what will happen next; he never knows for certain. That element of uncertainty is what makes the game exciting for the player, and how well he plays under such condition is what makes the game exciting for the fans.
Like any other sport, a baseball team sets out to defeat the opposing team and win the game. But on an individual level, every player knows he is only competing against himself of yesterday. Every time he goes up to bat, he is entering a new situation. While he may be focused on winning, he is also using it to test his ability, search out his weaknesses, and find ways to improve. To him, the unknown is a thing of value.
What if we approach life the same way?
Pause and think for a second. How do you and I react when life throws us curveballs? Generally, it catches us off guard, right? But what if we were to use a little improvisation? Ah, now that’s where the magic happens. We experience spontaneity, aliveness, and pride in the overcoming.
Yet, how often do we look upon challenges with excitement rather than apprehension? We tend to speak of them as problems instead of opportunities. We see ourselves being blindsided by them, instead of embracing them.
In fact, we label them as risks. And we manage risks by creating “insurance” to protect us against the very thing that we should let in. We build walls of politeness and distance to keep others out. We pick the low hanging fruit because it’s easy victory. We play it safe. Eventually, if we play the rest of our lives out this way, that life is going to be one giant empty stadium. No one will find it exciting to watch!
Some of the most successful people in the world are the best when it comes to evaluating their ability and their situation. Learn to better evaluate by asking yourself these questions.
1. What would happen if I start approaching new challenges with an attitude of expectancy and curiosity?
2. What would it feel like if I deal with this situation with more humor and playfulness?
3. What if I give myself permission to get lost in what I’m doing instead of worrying about the results?
4. Instead of worrying about failing, what would happen if I allow myself to fall on my face and use it as an opportunity to work out my weaknesses and improve my game?
5. What do I stand to lose if I don’t face this now? What do I stand to win if I do?
Asking yourself these questions will take a fair amount of honesty.
Asking yourself these questions will take a measure of faith.
And any time when you engage in self-reflection and situations that demand change, asking yourself these questions is not a spectator activity. It requires action. It takes guts.
Do you have what it takes?
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