Now we focus on the question: What is “it”? What are the things in life that rise to the level of an “it” that we pursue? Tucked into that answer is great insight into what “it” is in the first place and why it must rise to the level of pursuit.
Humans are wired to compete. When told that we can not do something, part of us wants to defy that reality (or mere opinion). We want to show to others or “prove” to them that we are capable, that we DO have what it takes.
Some of the greatest feats of human history have been done out of a sense of “I will show you.” Someone was told they couldn’t so they did, almost simply to spite the idea they could not. That may seem like playground “dare” mentality.
Certainly those challenges are not necessarily tailored and discerned to the person and their gifts and passions. They are subjective, and sometimes silly. Yet there is a drive in us to show people we are competent, capable, and resilient.
Why? Where does that drive come from? What if we let people down? How many times do we hear people in a field finding success talk about how they “don’t care what people think.” That, of course, is aimed at all their haters.
They have no room in their tank left to fret over who is jealous or mad about their success. But obviously they do care about what some people think. There is someone in their life past or present whose opinion they deeply care about.
Think of a toddler learning to swim. Over and over and over again he calls on everyone present to “watch.” Why? We are built to be recognized, to have our contributions noticed, to be a part of a greater human network. We can’t exist in isolation.
Our communal nature innately drives us to want to contribute positively to our groups. We want to do well, to give something, to be a part. The most resilient criminals became that only after being wrongly convinced they had nothing to truly give.
We all do. But we need reminded of it, a lot. We need “coaches” in our lives. People to speak into them hope and life, and even a butt-kicking when we don’t believe in ourselves. We might just be given a shot that few people ever get.
Once we get that shot there is one weapon that is profoundly powerful: not having fear. Those who try to protect their position or their place end up straining only to protect that position. Those who are desperate to play have a unique power.
The power ultimately is nothing left to lose, or more accurately no reason not to go for it. It is someone who has for various reasons learned how to contain fear, or utilize it somehow into energy. They have gotten past the desire to maintain.
They risk. They know they are free to risk. They do it because they can. They understand the basis human condition of freedom. What will we do? How will we show the world our talent? On our terms? Without fear.