“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.”
— Seneca the Younger
This is a great quote to both contemplate and to apply to your life.
How often do you hear people complain? Pick a topic-love, friendship, careers, etc. The list of issues that people complain about is endless. You and I are no different. Perhaps we don’t complain about each of these things but more than likely there is something that we complain about with great regularity.
Now, sometimes complaints are simply a way to vent some frustration at the moment but we don’t really want anything to change in this area. However, more often than not, someone regularly complains about one specific problem
If I had a dollar for every time I heard one friend complain about the difficulty of finding a good man I could throw her a huge wedding bash or perhaps simply buy her a husband in some small third-world country. When I thought about my friend Donna’s problem and applied Seneca’s quote to it a light bulb suddenly appeared above my head just like in the cartoons!
It was true! Donna is having difficulty finding a good man simply because she isn’t daring enough. Sure she goes out on dates and tries to maintain an active social life, however she holds herself aloof emotionally. She isn’t willing to dare much at all when it comes to her heart-so how can she hope that someone else will do so for her? Sure, there might be someone, somewhere, but she is also missing out on relationships, at least friendships, with some really great guys simply because she is too afraid to dare to care.
That is sad. We all know that love is marvelous but it is also frightening, however we have to take risks in order to experience it fully. Sometimes we might get hurt however more often than not we will find the rewards outweigh the risks. There is no guarantee that is Donna opens herself up and dares to love that she will find the love of her life-however there is certainly a guarantee that a life filled with love is more rewarding than one that is not.
I have another friend who is also afraid to dare. Jeff hates his job. No, that’s not exactly right. He loves the work itself but he really hates the company that he works for. He finds the management very difficult to work for (and if even a small percentage of the stories he tells are true then he’s right, it is a horrible place to work).
However, every time I suggest he look for a job somewhere else he comes up with some excuse about how difficult it would be. True the job market isn’t great, but he’s a skilled worker in a high-demand field so I’m sure he could find something. He’s doomed his job search before he even started it because he’s not daring enough.
It wouldn’t be fair to share my friends’ examples without pointing to my own shortcomings. Probably the greatest difficulty in my own life is within my marriage and that is simply because I don’t dare enough emotionally there. I have become too complaisant and take my husband and marriage for granted. I need to dare more emotionally.
So think about the difficulties in your own life and apply Seneca’s rule then decide if you can be more daring! All the best!
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