"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." - Oscar Wilde
A staggering 75% of people say they frequently pretend to be okay when they're not. Ah, the human condition! It's a rich tapestry of desires, fears, and a constant push-pull between comfort and growth. In our lives, we find ourselves in a perpetual dance on the tightrope of authenticity and façade. But just as a plant must lean toward the light to flourish, you must lean toward your discomfort to grow. Let's take this illuminating journey together into the heart of living on your edge.
We all have limits—boundaries to our knowledge, our emotional depths, and our skills. That's not just okay; it's necessary. Limits define the playing field of our lives. Just imagine a soccer game without boundaries—it would be chaos, and nobody would know when to stop running (or cheering, or crying, depending on the score).
But here's the kicker: knowing your limit is not a free pass to complacency. It's not a lounge chair by the pool where you sip a Piña Colada, watching the world go by. Oh no, knowing your limit is more like knowing the speed limit on a highway. You can and should push it, carefully. Why? Because your "edge"—that beautiful, terrifying frontier between what you know and what you don't—is where you grow.
Let's talk about honor. A term often relegated to the annals of chivalry, but wait, it's making a comeback! Being honorable isn't just about opening doors or standing up when someone enters the room. True honor comes from acknowledging where you stand—your fears, your capacities, your "edge of practice," as the Zen masters would say. Why is this so crucial? Because the moment you start lying to yourself, you're not just failing; you're rotting from the inside out. It’s like selling yourself a counterfeit watch and then wondering why it doesn’t keep time.
Now, if you admit where you genuinely are—in skills, in love, in life—you become incredibly valuable to others. You become good company, a term that I adore. Not just someone who's fun at parties, although that's nice, but someone who can be trusted, leaned on, and engaged with on a meaningful level.
Ah, the beauty of being "fully present." This doesn't mean that you never daydream or that you engage with every moment as if it's a Shakespearean drama. It means that you're there, really there, warts and all, willing to engage with the world around you. When you're true to your edge, you can't help but be present.
But how to find this elusive edge? You might be wondering, "Am I pushing too hard or not hard enough?" Excellent question, oh seeker of wisdom! Your edge is a dynamic place, not a fixed point on a map. It's the spot where you lean just beyond your fears and capacity. Think of it as surfing on the wave of your potential. Go too far, and you'll wipe out, overwhelmed and unable to absorb your experiences. But if you're too timid, you'll never catch the wave in the first place.
In everything you do, whether you're asking for a raise, trying to write a novel, or simply getting to know someone new, your growth is optimized when you're dancing just beyond that edge of comfort and fear. It’s like cooking pasta al dente, not too soft, but not too hard—just right to savor the flavor of life.
If you don't know where your edge is, start by pushing against your own assumptions. Question your "knowns." Dare to take a different route home, speak to a stranger, or tackle a project you've been avoiding. The edge isn't always a cliff; sometimes, it's just a different path.
And there you have it, the unwritten rulebook to living an authentic life, and being that valuable "good company" for yourself and others. You’re never going to be perfect, and that’s not just acceptable, it’s fabulous! Because it’s not about where your edge is, but that you're living on it, consciously and daringly.
Years from now, you're going to look back at this moment and either admire the courage it took for you to venture beyond your edge or wish you'd dared to push a bit harder. The choice, as they say, is yours.