Better Safe Than Sorry?

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

  • 11.05.2020.

"Better safe than sorry", mama said multiple times when you were a kid, no doubt about it. Don't jump over the fence when you can go around it, don't eat a worm just because your friend dares you to… That proverb comes naturally in many life situations as it is as logical as it gets. It truly is wiser to be cautious and careful than to be hasty or rash and so do something you may later regret, as the explanation of the proverb implies. Then again, if the human race stuck blindly to that proverb each time when there was such decision to make, our mutual grandfather from Africa probably wouldn't have strode out of the cave with an ocean view all those thousand years ago to search for something better.   

From the day we were born we strive for something that's out of our reach that moment, behind the table, the chair… We slowly get on our feet, fall on the table, and that chair, but eventually get up and beyond that obstacle. "Better safe" being a moto through history, Columbo would have never sailed out and discovered America after the Vikings already did it, the tower in Pisa would have been straightened up a long time ago and men kind would never have tried to go to space as there's no oxygen up there, right? No sorry there other than slight bone loss for the astronauts, but sometimes its better to be sorry in the end as we learn more from sorry than safe in our lives. 

John A. Shedd once wrote: "A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for” and getting right to the core of this. Why build something, why build ourselves and strive to be better if we can't use it, enjoy it? The ship is there to carry us where ever we want, no matter what it faces. It is not the keel, the mast, the sails that make it special, but the freedom to use all of it together and achieve what you wanted all along. 

There's time and place for everything. Sometimes you got to play it safe, but do it too long and fear will start to creep in, captivate you and disable your decision making. By staying put every time we can do something “risky”, something out of the box, we gain nothing. No progress is made, no wins to claim but all the opportunities, chances sitting upon that other road are gone for good. No matter being the most powerful man on the Earth or some poor soul, all of us have some regrets. It could have been that you played it safe that time or you took the risk and went all in, it doesn't matter in the end. What matters is that you don't let fear dictate your decision. Take the facts in and make a choice, safe or risky. Only if you take the chance will you know if it was better off staying put or go head through the wall.  

Mark Twain couldn't have been more right when he wrote:   “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”   I don't know about you but in the first sane 20 years of my life, I could have done more, plenty more. Unfortunately, only when I start thinking about it, and that's pretty much when I write masterpieces like this one, is that I start thinking about the present day. Am I going to, twenty years from now, look over my shoulders and have more regrets just because of some obstacles in the way? It’s tough these days, that’s for sure. We are facing something unknown, invisible, something that’s holding us back, frightens us. Despite that, who is there to prevent us from dreaming, making plans, preparing for the inevitable, for a normal life? No one and never. That’s why you need first to sail out with the boat inside of you, put an end to this rat race taking place in your heart, an end to the vicious circle of fear. Play safe but live and have no regrets about your choice.   

Sail away with “My(your) way”

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