A friend who was awarded a fairly significant contract recently was describing to me her extreme excitement about capturing such an incredible piece of business, but at the same time was panicked about how to pull it off, for much of what she agreed to do she’s not done before, it is for her uncharted waters. Is that not the way life is – or, at least, is that not the way life is if we have the courage to put ourselves out there as my friend did?
My biggest regrets are not the mistakes I made or the things I did that I shouldn’t have done, rather it’s the things I could have done or should have done but didn’t. I’m not talking about those stupid dare-devilish escapades of my youth – done plenty of that. I’m referring to the opportunities I have turned away because I was afraid or too timid for whatever reason to tackle it. Fortunately as I’ve grown older I’ve become more courageous about such things. Perhaps that’s my penance for all the previous missed opportunities, or maybe I’m just gutsier in my old age.
That is the real reason for our recent pilgrimage. Even though we were excited about experiencing the history, beauty and culture of Northern Spain, and thought that walking the Camino de Santiago might provide some sort of spiritual renewal, the real purpose of the trip was purely for the adventure of it. Whatever other reasons we may have had for spending our time and money on such a thing, the real reason was the excitement of putting ourselves out there in, what for us at least, was uncharted waters.
Life, I believe, is something to be experimented with. How else can we bring out the best in ourselves unless we are willing experiment, explore and try something new? Almost all human progress from the invention of the wheel to the microchip is the result of someone’s experiments. But to experiment demands that we be willing to put ourselves out there, in uncharted waters, like my friend did in winning her new business contract, which I’m willing to bet will pay off for her. In one way or another experiments always do.