“The Template Life” is a contradiction in terms.
What are some of the watchwords we use to describe the template life?
Overworked… Underpaid… Under-appreciated… Unhappy… Bored…
We’re taught to strive for this, under the guise of much more happy wording:
Structured… Safe… Secure… Stable… Normal…
Down with Normal
All of these words combine to form an existence so dull it’s not interesting enough to be called miserable. Think Edward Norton in Fight Club. The man’s life was so incredibly dull, he didn’t get stimulated enough in the 16 hours he was awake to get tired enough to sleep.
News Flash, People of America: “Normal” sucks. This isn’t even “living,” it’s more “avoiding death.”
Close your Eyes, Hold Your Nose, and JUMP!!!
Why are so many people afraid to take that leap. To throw their boring life aside and do something that they enjoy?
Simple, fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of judgment, fear of ridicule, fear of failure. Whatever the reason, it’s that fear that keeps us from taking the plunge? Part of that fear comes from that fact that we think in contradictory terms. Good vs. Evil. Light vs. Dark. Black vs. White. We leave ourselves very little gray area with things.
There’s more than Gray in the Middle
For example, in America when a child pulls petals off of a daisy, they say, “He loves me/He loves me not.” It’s either total admiration, or complete rejection. In France, however, they pull the petals off and say, “He loves me a little/a lot/passionately/madly/not at all.” They have an entire spectrum of ways to viewing the same situation.
People often assume that anything they might consider doing is either going to be a raging success, or a total failure. This leads to a large group of people going through the motions of safety, afraid of falling should they take the leap.
There’s Something you Want to Do, So Do It!
If you want to be an actor, give it a shot. You probably won’t win an Oscar, but you might get to have some fun in a local production.
If you want to be a photographer, go for it. You might not be the next Annie Leibovitz, but you might be able to bring in a little pocket money taking pictures for friends’ weddings and graduations.
Let’s not forget, these might not be incredibly lucrative jobs, but remember that money isn’t the only thing in life. If you can bring yourself to take that leap, you’ll get to learn new things, meet new people, and have a lot of fun in the process.
You have to take the chance. End the fear, take the plunge. Taking the chance is not a guarantee of total failure, and even if it is, taking a leap of faith and landing on your face is still the better alternative than standing still and sinking into the quicksand of mediocrity.
The poet John Greenleaf Whittier said:
“For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, ‘It might have been’.”
It might not work out, but at least you’ll know.