Day 17: A Day of Rest

Today was a beautiful Sunday.

I spent the better part of the day with my eldest daughter, Payton, as I went from Christmas party to Christmas party. My wife was at home with my youngest daughter, going through morning sickness seven months after the birth of Alyssa. At one point, Payton and I took a ride into the city and spent an hour or so just hanging out with her completely enthralled at the sight of buses, shops and so many people all around her. This was in stark contrast to her usual surroundings of our home and company of her little sister and mom.

At each one of these parties, I enjoyed catching up with friends I hadn’t seen all year round and watching as Payton ran around with the other kids, so intrigued and eager to see and mimic what everyone else was doing. What really tugged at the heart-strings was seeing this huge smile cover her entire face as she would approach a child she didn’t know, observe what they did, marvel at the action (i.e. throwing a ball or riding a tricycle) and attempt to mimic that action herself. A load and very unique laugh soon followed as she realized that she had just learnt something new.  After that Daddy moment, I couldn’t help but think how wonderful it is to see a beautiful child, learning, living and loving life as much as she can, simply because.

Imagine if that was how things were for us. No longer jaded by negative stigmas or preconceived stereo-types. Able to do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted, simply because. Easier said than done, I know but let’s imagine this…

Picture yourself at a time where you had a great idea, concept or suggestion to contribute. You’d run it through your mind several times over to ensure that it really did offer value and eagerly communicated it to someone else. The response you received, however, was in direct contradiction to the response expected. Your input was met with scepticism, hesitation and the impression that it lacked validity. Naturally, when faced with such a reaction, you can’t help but feel like you yourself, by association to your idea, have also been met with scepticism, hesitation and doubt. You quickly learn that you don’t enjoy situations like this and wish to avoid them at all costs.

This leads into an important principle that we all live by whether we know it or not, and that is the Pleasure-Pain Principle. This principle, though noted by Aristotle, was explored further by Sigmund Freud. In short, human nature dictates that we seek out pleasure and pull away from pain, simple concept right? If, however, I would ask you which of the two you would actively pursue, most of us would say to seek pleasure. Although this seems like a logical answer, the problem is we are not logical beings. An example is a man who has just earned $100,000. This man will invest a huge amount of resources into protecting that $100,000, as opposed to directing it into the accumulation of another $100,000. This is because, emotionally, the man is more concerned with protecting his hard earned cash and keeping it away from robbers rather than going to earn more cash.

The ramifications this principle has on us as dream makers and risk takers is that when faced with the prospect of accomplishing greatness, we will oft times lean to the side of security rather than put everything on the roll of a single dice. Sure, it sounds safe but let’s be honest, safe and success are polar ice caps apart and will always separate the rest from the best.

It is my belief that if we can engage in being more like children, eager to move out of a comfort zones, take risks and learn new things, just think of the possibilities. Big words but maybe we all need to start thinking big. It’s like an excerpt in The One Minute Millionaire: The Enlightened Way to Wealthby Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen that reads, “In life there are two doors, one marked “Security”, the other marked “Freedom” and those who choose security lose both.”

It’s crazy how kids make it look so easy.