I personally think that all ideas are a little dangerous, the very essence of an ‘idea’ suggests something new and challenging. Characters in cartoons often have the little light bulb, which floats above their head when they think of something. I really like the image that ideas are these little lights in the darkness leading the way; some we come up with on our own and others literally fall into our lap, like the infamous apple into the fabled (and I would imagine slightly surprised) hands of Isaac Newton. This is, however, a slight digression from what my dangerous idea is, so here is mine: do one thing every day that scares you.
Let me just clarify this a bit, I’m not suggesting that you blindfold yourself crossing a road or anything wantonly dangerous like that, but what I’m talking about is more in the sense of personally challenging yourself. We all exist to a smaller or greater extent in our own safety bubble; a comfort zone which is comprised of all the day to day things that we do: our daily routine which forms the ritualized part of this comfortable world. Take me, for example, as a uni student I wake up, have breakfast, maybe go for a run and then head to the library or a lecture, and my days can simply become a mesh of the same old thing with nothing apart from an essay question to really challenge me.
So what I’m saying is, do something each day that you didn’t think you could do, whether it’s (in the absence of any other friends) going to sit down in your school canteen/lunch hall with people you’ve never spoken to before and striking up a conversation, skydiving (obviously this isn’t something to be encountered everyday) or even just simply trying a food you’ve always thought was disgusting but have never dared taste. Facing these challenges and overcoming them can be one of the most important and confidence building exercises that you can do; because it’s all a question of rendering the impossible possible.
I don’t intend to sound like a life-coach, or pretend to know the first thing about ‘self-improvement’ but I heard this small snippet of advice in a song (Baz Luhrmann, Everybody wear Sunscreen….definitely youtube it) and it really stayed with me because it’s all about taking control of your life and letting people know that you are in charge. It’s about telling that voice in your head that says something is “too scary” or “too hard” to go and take a running jump.
Okay, so it doesn’t always work out: I went to an audition last year, not because I particularly want to act but because I wanted to make sure that I didn’t, it was initially quite scary and although I didn’t get the part it was very liberating to do it and realize that it wasn’t a big deal. I’ve also held a hatred of ravioli since the age of six when my primary school used to serve us this tepid and suspiciously filled pasta; I tried some again the other day and was pleasantly surprised that it was actually quite nice.
Someone once said to me that anything worth doing is a little scary, and I often think that is true. It’s important not to let the fear of something hold you back from doing it. I realize it’s easy for me to say this sat anonymously behind a computer screen, how do you know that I’m not perpetuating a big self-help book lie? You don’t and you don’t have to believe me, it is after all a ‘dangerous idea’ but try it for yourself and see,
…but at least trust me on the ravioli: it’s good.
Katy Fallon studies English language and Literature at Keble College and has been a member of TEDxOxford since it started in 2011.
*Inspiration for Blog question taken from www.edge.org “what is your dangerous idea?”