One of the beliefs that was ingrained into me as a child was that ‘the middle path is always the best path’. And it has served me really well. I think I’ve become a well balanced, head on the shoulders, practical person because of that. Whenever I’ve got stuck in a situation or had to make decisions, I’ve followed this and it has almost always seen me through safely.
The funny thing about beliefs though is that they become our reality. We forget that it’s just a ‘psychological state in which we hold a certain proposition to be true’. And so more often than not our beliefs hold us rather than us holding them and our life mirrors these beliefs.
So, if you had to draw a graph of my life, it would be a straight road rather that of hills and valleys. I never digressed. I always played it safe (follow the middle path) and therefore have never really had major ups and downs in my life…it’s been a plateau all along. Which is fine.
Except that it’s boring! I realized it when I made a life pie for myself, rated all the important areas of my life on a scale of 1-10 and found myself in the middle on most of them! I was cruising along and definitely not unhappy but I wasn’t living a full life…on any of the most important parameters to me!! I had to start deviating from the middle path…start taking some risks!
And I did. Tiny steps. Small risks. And then more and more. Funny thing is they’ve never backfired. I quit my job as a corporate lawyer and risked working in a non profit, took up completely different careers as a teacher and hr manager, and then quit all that to become an executive coach and a partner in my own business! Each step was scary and at each step I had doubts, but I had fun all the way and I love what I do now…so I would say it’s been worth it.
I’m still far from leading the utmost life that I can but I know I’m moving towards it (photography is my latest passion, violin is next). Thing is…if I hadn’t recognized the belief that I held as my reality I would have always stayed at the plateau and never known the joys of the highs and lows.