Risk & Reward

Howdy folks. 

Today has been a damn good day. A damn good day. I’ve come to a bit of a breakthrough, a revelation even. There’s truth to it, the old phrase that Lady Luck favours the bold. I feel like so often during my younger years I was terrified of risk. So much I did was made to avoid risk, to play it safe. Push the envelope only so far, only push the bounds of what’s acceptable. Don’t do something too wild, too dangerous. 

But you know what? Fuck that.

I’m sick of playing it safe, I’m tired to the death of constantly double checking to make sure what I’m doing is optimal for my long term goals, that I have back up plans for all my back up plans. That every choice I make is rigorously distilled into the most effective, least risky, less fulfilling choice. 

That hesitation, that reticence to do the exceptional has been something holding me back. Being fettered with a safety net has prevented me from doing what I need to. What I’ve realised I need to do to feel alive: to play risky. 

To gamble on a single, glorious, fragile and utterly determined shot. To throw everything I’ve got into a single, dedicated effort to push forward like a blaze of fire into the unknown. Taking life by the fucking throat. To stop asking permission. Stop being so safe

Safety is crippling. Safe is stifling. Safe is toxic. 

I realised, some of my boldest, bravest, and most honest actions have been those I made without certainty. Without knowing all the odds and probabilities. I spent years of my life trying to make things safe and it was pointless. Totally pointless. So fuck it all. I’m going to take you by the fucking throat. I’m going to succeed or go down in a blaze of fire. 

I don’t need to know all the answers. I don’t need to have a backup plan. Hell, I don’t even need a plan. I want to stop thinking every single thing into a point where it becomes meaningless. Paralysis through analysis is all too real to me.

When I play guitar, this is also true. When I focus on hitting every single note perfectly, on making sure my vibrato is exactly in pitch and my tempo is exact, I stutter and stumble over basic licks and phrases. I lock up, freeze up. And when I don’t, my playing becomes mechanical, like a process of directions being executed by a machine. 

My best playing, though, comes from when I manage to lock that part of me away. When I stop caring, and start doing. The brilliance emerges when I stop stressing about getting results, and just fucking get them. When I feel the rhythm and the song in my soul and let it all out, when I go where the music carries me it becomes fluid, like a surging river. The music comes out effortlessly. I’m not thinking about which notes to play, about where I’m playing, which note to hit next, I just go Edith it go with it go with it. 

When I give myself a backup plan, I give myself an out, a reason to not give it my all. When I have a week long time limit, I have no reason to actually dedicate myself to getting anything done; but when it’s due tomorrow, my back is against the wall and there is no alternative, that’s when I come to life. That’s the moment I rush forward and fucking do it. 

So I’m going to purposely play risky. Enough with the insurance policies and the back up plans and the safe choices. I’m going to push myself to the extremes, in order to force myself to be brilliant. I won’t have the safety, the leisure, the ease of being complacent. Of always going back to the safe old thing. To solve problems the same way. I will, by necessity, have to give it my all. 

I’m going to stop going with the brain, and start letting the heart and soul take a try at the controls.