Life comes in two flavours, the fixed and the variable.
Most people prefer ‘fixed’ over ‘variable’. They want a world that’s safe and secure. They want certainty over doubt. They are dead-set on building a world and a future they can count on. And they have a plan to get them there.
At the same time – and in spite of their preference for things ‘fixed’ – they have a constant, nagging itch for the taste of something ‘variable’. The calling to take a risk. The yearning to test, to prod, to dare, to try.
And then, like all itches, it stops being itchy and is forgotten. And so it sits in the background of their lives, like an annoying pebble-in-the-shoe that pops up every now and then.
Unless they scratch the itch. Flare it up, make it even itchier. But no, that never happens. And that’s because they have all been taught not to scratch their itch. At school. At home. By their parents. By their friends. “Stop scratching that itch Richard, you’ll just make it worse.”
Making it safely to death.
In this way they have been fed a diet of ‘fixed’ food, off a menu that offers predictability; staying focused; being in control; playing it safe; lying low; avoiding danger; being reasonable; always having a plan; making it safely to death.
The brainwashing is subtle. It doesn’t change their basic need for safety. Instead, it just uses that need to convince them that their comfort zone is the place where they need to live their lives. After all, “That’s what sensible people like you and me do”.
And yet, there is still that part in them that itches to let go, to walk the road less travelled, to walk out, to shout out, to throw the dice, to take it to the limit.
For some, the itch will become so overwhelming that it will dominate their days, and ask them to put your soul on the line. And if that’s you, it is entirely possible that there won’t be a massive standing ovation for you at the end of the day.
That’s okay. There’s still tomorrow.