Simple Philosophies – Live to Dive In

Your work is to discover your work and then, with all your heart, to give yourself to it.

~The Buddha

Looking down into deep waters is scary.

It’s dark and you don’t know what’s down there. There could be sharks, or poisonous jellyfish, or any manner of monsters, waiting to eat you alive.

But you jump in anyway. And it was the best decision you’ve ever made.

That’s how I felt, going to live in Japan, armed with not much more than a suitcase, some basic phrases and a lot of preconceptions.

I had no idea what was going to happen and I was scared out of my wits. What the hell did I sign up for?

Then, after all of the trials and tribulations of living in Japan, I had almost slipped into my comfort zone until I decided to visit Korea. I literally couldn’t speak a word of Korean, but I still experienced some of the greatest moments in my life.

And then I went to Hong Kong and did exactly the same thing.

Being scared of the unknown is natural, but that doesn’t mean that we should submit to it. Life is all about overcoming the challenges that face us, but also the challenges that we seek out to make ourselves better people. To avoid good challenges is to avoid the best that life can offer.

Even if you’re not living in an exotic country or about to jump off a plane, we could all use a bit more immersion in our everyday lives. We tend to slip into spending too much time on auto-pilot, falling into an unfulfilling routine and not really living life.

In a way, it’s easier to be present when you’re doing something exciting like travelling, than it is when you’re lining up at the supermarket checkout, but both of those situations are equal in terms of our precious time being spent. Nobody knows what will happen to us tomorrow, so let’s not waste even a moment.

simple act

From just washing the dishes to going for a run, whatever you do, just jump in. Dive deep and fully immerse yourself in the moment. Give it your all, plus a big dash determination, enthusiasm or whatever else you have to offer. Do nothing half heartedly.

Life is a miracle, and yet it doesn’t ask for much in return… just that you live it.

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  • Seth Barham

    It’s tough, moving and adopting not just a new way of life, but also cultural norms. These types of experiences make our mind work harder, whether we realize it or not, and that helps us to grow and evolve.

    I was definitely nervous about coming to Sweden for 6 months…but now I know that when I return it’s going to take me longer to get used to being back in the U.S. than it took me to adapt to the Swedish way of life.

    Like you said, if there’s a new opportunity, experience, etc, we just have to dive in sometimes. We can only evolve through movement.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Seth!

      “We can only evolve through movement”

      Yes, I totally agree, and reverse culture shock is quite a challenge in itself!

  • http://www.joshmartinink.com Josh Martin

    Beautifully written post! And such an important message about diving in and immersing ourselves in things, even if it scares us. I dabbled with writing for years but was never satisfied. 2 months ago I took the plunge and am now working full time as a freelance writer. Scary but so worth it.