Wisdom comes from unlikely places.  In this case, it comes from a late-night TV talk show comedian who sports a carrot-top version of Big Boy’s hairstyle, standing behind a podium that looks like “something a bear would use at an AA meeting.”

Before I lose you for 20 minutes to the YouTube video that sparked this post, a question:  What if things don’t work out the way you’ve hoped?  What if you don’t achieve your ideal outcome?  What if your path in life no longer resembles the map you’ve drawn for it?

In his commencement speech at Dartmouth, Conan O’Brien talks about what happens when things work out differently than we imagine.  They all resonated deeply with me, but none more than this: “Nothing is more liberating than having your worst fear realized.”

Experience it, live through it,  and release your attachment to the planned outcome, and you will have learned truths about yourself that you never could have known.  From disappointment comes clarity, conviction and your true, original, essential self, says Conan (in paraphrase).   He doesn’t mention one potential bonus gift: you’ll find your real tribe.

Do just one thing today that you’re afraid of.   And let me know how that works out.

 

2 Responses to When Map and Path Diverge

  1. Kanesha says:

    This rocks!
    I love, “Experience it, live through it, and release your attachment to the planned outcome, and you will have learned truths about yourself that you never could have known.”
    The one thing I did this week – that was low level fear – was starting tennis lessons.
    The big level fear thing for today – was submitting a proposal for a paid gig. (Who do I think I am?) 🙂

    • amysteindler says:

      What I know about you, Kanesha, is that you are a brave and authentic soul who writes like a Pulitzer Prize winner, so any praise from you is something to be savored!

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