Where great ideas come from? From the mind? If they come from the mind wouldn’t that mean that they were always there? and if they were, why didn’t we see them before?
Great ideas come from being curious. The opposite of being curious is being comfortable and being comfortable is like sleeping. If all you want to do is to be comfortable, you should go to bed because that way you’ll get the most bang for your buck. If there was an option to sleep through life I guarantee that people would be signing up for that option as I type this. But since there isn’t such an option, we come up with different ways to be comfortable and sleep through life while being awake.
One of the ways to get comfortable is to put ourselves on repeat. Repeating the same thoughts, opinions, actions, day in, day out. Repetition of the same familiar stuff resembles sleep. When we repeat doing and thinking about the same things we allow ourselves to be comfortable because we learn to predict the outcome of everything we repeat. Repetition feels safe. It is like going to sleep, we feel comfortable repeating doing that.
Hey! but what about nightmares? – Nightmares can wake you up from your sleep, resembling an unpredictable fear popping up disrupting our predictable repetitions.
However, fear is closer to curiosity than comfort. Being curious is a willingness to step out of our comfort zone safely. Being fearful is an unwillingness to step out of our comfort zone because it doesn’t feel good or it’s not safe enough. Both are trying to take us out of our comfort zone. However, the more comfortable we get the more we tend to lose interest in following our curiosity. Curiosity, after all, may lead to unpredictable things. Uncomfortable things.
So here is the dilemma and the reason I was writing about great ideas, comfort, curiosity, and fear.
Do you want to be happy? it seems like a rhetorical question right? Of course, you do. What do you think you need in order to be happy? again rhetorical, you already know what you need, right? but do you know how to get it? – well, if you do you are already on your way to happiness or you are already happy. But if don’t know how to get what you need in order to be happy you may think to yourself – if only I had a great idea about how to get what I need to be happy.
But where do you look for such an idea? Do you look for it in your daily repeated, thoughts, opinions, and actions? Oh wait… you already looked there, no point in looking there again, seems like a waste of time, and you are right. But you are curious about it.
If only I had a great idea or an opportunity I would surely seize it, and get my happiness going.
What if I told you that all roads lead to happiness, just like that saying – “All roads lead to Rome”. You can’t miss it. What if I told you that you couldn’t possibly miss out on happiness as long as you keep walking on your path until you reach happiness. Not repeating a section of a path you walk on but continue walking exploring everything on your path, including things that make you uncomfortable, like your fears.
Besides alerting about an immediate physical danger the other purpose of fear is to shake you up and wake you up from sleep, from repetition, to get you going again in the direction of your happiness.
It might feel uncomfortable, but that’s the point of it, otherwise, you wouldn’t notice it. Most people adapt to fear and refuse to notice it still. Fear has the same if not better ideas about reaching happiness as being curious. Both awaken you to a greater understanding, about yourself and life. That understanding reaches you when you allow yourself to let go of the repeating thoughts and opinions you have about yourself and life.
At first, it is counterintuitive to believe that fears lead to happiness, but that is only because we react to emotional fears the same way we react to survival fear. We choose to repeat to ourselves about the uncomfortable things that can happen if we don’t take measures to prevent them from happening. When perceiving an imaginary fear as a survival fear we feel the need to protect ourselves, to cover every situation out there that might put us in danger. Or at least cover the major issues that might put us in danger.
No wonder we can’t even begin thinking about happiness because we’re busy repeating thinking about surviving the dangers out there. We are busy sleeping and getting comfortable with our fears by justifying our recurring thoughts and actions that make us feel safe.
Are you willing to give up on the repetitive thoughts that you rely on? Are you willing to get uncomfortable? You don’t need to be dramatic, sacrificing everything, that would cause only more fear. If you act on fear, you would be ignoring it instead of understanding it. Understand your fears not from the repeating old thoughts but from being curious about where the fear may lead you. You can let your fears show you what you need to see in the comfort of your own home while sipping coffee and blowing your own mind.
The opportunity is always there, and it might not always feel safe or comfortable, just recognize it when it presents itself and then decide to take it or leave it.