Wednesday morning. Wet snow falling from the sky, roads are icy and slippery. Welcome to Helsinki, the capital of Finland, this is how winter here is. I’m quite anxious. It’s dark and I have to drive an hour drive to Lahti which is… well, not one of the most inspiring cities in Finland. I’ve promised to go to practice ski jumping.
I let people challenge me in doing crazy things. Why? Won’t get paid or anything, this comes out of pure… stupidity, I guess. Who’s insisting? Especially on a Wednesday. It would be so much easier to just stay at home and do the same things I usually do on Wednesdays. I’m not a ski jumper, I can’t do this. Stupid, impulsive and inconsiderate I am to have promised. But because I did promise, I have to go.
Thursday night. Change of scene. No more wet snow, and I’m quite excited. Did well the day before and I’m proud of myself. I’m writing a blog to you telling how I’m standing on the stop of the hill, describing how my life is flashing before my eyes and so forth. As I’m ready to publish the writing I know what is to be expected. It’s always the same when I do something out of the box:
”Oh you’re so brave!” ”How can you do things like that, I could never do such a thing.” ”Extremely courageous!”
The feedback. Always nice to hear but in a way it makes me frustrated. I chat to my friend on Facebook. She’s embracing my bravery and telling me how she could never do something like this since she’s got the fear of heights.
”Well, there you go, that’s your limit”, I reply to her and continue:
”To me, most important in this ”courage thing” is that one can’t compare the limits of their courage to those of others. Or, at least, one shouldn’t. Some people do some things and others do other things. I just want people to get to know their limits and become more aware of them. I hope you guys could see the bigger picture hidden here; I don’t need to hear your compliments of how brave I am. It warms my heart, of course, but the reason I do these crazy things is to make you think.
You know, habit is the biggest sin of all. The thing when you keep telling yourself you can’t do something because you just happen to be like that or you got something that won’t allow you to do something. Because you’re used to doing things in some particular way. The only thing that matters to me is that I get to share these stories and experiences with you.
Sorry, you got to hear the big sermon now…”
The big sermon. Indeed. Something keeps bugging me after this conversation. Is it really me who’s the brave one or could my friend have jumped off the same ski jump hill as I did – at least try despite her fear? I mean, if I’m honest, it really wasn’t that big of a jump.
What do our habits and beliefs stop us from doing? How much potential do we miss when not questioning our habits, when we’re doing things the way we’ve always done? How many things do we define off-limits for ourselves just because we don’t feel like trying?
Did my friend say she’s fearing the heights just because she’s used to saying that – so that she wouldn’t have to try?
I really do hope you can see the things I do and write in a bigger perspective and picture (or the examples I use).
It’s all about you stopping to think, you questioning your limits and habits. It’s all about you giving yourself a permit to explode some of your limits and habits and encourage others to do the same; that you take the time to consider what could be possible to you if you didn’t purposely limit yourself or someone else. You’ll never know as long as you won’t try. And it’s all about trying. You can always turn back!
Sunday evening. It’s dark but the sky’s been clear the whole day again. That can happen in Helsinki, too. New week is about to begin. I’m writing down my big sermon for you to read. It’s just waiting for the perfect closure before I get to publish it…
* * *
I didn’t turn back. No, I jumped and promised to do that soon again. I jumped because I had you in mind. I felt I had no choice, because as much as I wanted to experience something new myself, I wanted you to experience something. I wanted you to stop, right now, to think what is possible for you.
Because you might not do it if someone doesn’t make you by giving an example.
To whom could you give an example for? How? What habits and beliefs could you question right now? What could you try? What could come out of you? Because there’s so much more to you than meets the eye – even that of your own.
Please, don’t let your stupid habits kill you!
I have been writing this blog for some years now in Finnish. This year I’ll start translating some of my most favorite blogs in English for you and will see where it will take from there. As said before, English is not my mother tongue so I hope you’ll bare with me, the language might not always be ”perfect”.
This blog in Finnish, here.