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Baby Steps Aren't Sexy...

...but they can be beautiful.

I don't remember how I signed up for this "Fear-less" magazine online, but I'm glad I did. Magazine aside, their periodic emails are almost always encouraging and insightful and perfectly-timed for my current quandaries. This (abbreviated) note from earlier in the week was precisely what I needed to hear:

"It's easy to get impatient on your quest to be fearless. You read the books and the magazines, you feel pumped up and ready for action, and then you wake up the next morning and things are pretty much the same. When you're impatient and want to shake things up, you begin to think about doing something Big. Big things are deliberate, autonomy-assuring actions that change your daily life:
quitting your job, moving to another country, going back to university, that sort of thing...

Our contributors always talk about baby steps, little things, small victories. These phrases are not as sexy as the idea of a strong, independent man or woman telling his or her stuffy corporate boss to shove it and then starting a new life. But they are important. They're not called baby steps just because babies take them, but because babies need them to learn to walk. You have to gradually build up to a wholesome, satisfying level of courage and mindfulness. If you could do it overnight, everyone would.

I would never discourage anyone outright from making a massive life-changing decision. That would be tyrannical. But you have to develop a knowledge of the truth that rises above the romance of the situation and be able to say that yes, this gives me what I need for these reasons, and I will be able to handle it because I've been working on myself in these ways. The problems and resistance at the core of your being will follow you to any job and any city. No matter how much money or how many friends you end up making, you will have to live with yourself your whole life. And you know better than anyone that you can be pretty brutal to yourself...

"Following your dreams" and "doing what you need to do" are super cool, but you also need to respect yourself enough to 1) scrutinize the narratives you're fed, no matter the source and 2) make an honest attempt to know, accept and live with yourself... Life is tricky because being both short and fragile, you have to push it to the limit while also handling with care...



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