The real reason you should do what you love

You should only leave behind what you knew if an idea has enchanted you so thoroughly that not engaging it would hurt more than letting the steady ground slip out from beneath you.

The thrill of the free-fall must be greater than the comfort of keeping your feet planted. The very act of daring — regardless of victory — must bring you to life.

So you leap.

You soar, and you realize: you had wings.

And tentatively at first, but with growing triumph you spread them wide and see at last that the vast open air has a glorious, unobstructed view from 10,000 feet high whose beauty alone makes the flight transcendent.

It’s a fallacy to think you should only leave what was working if you have a guarantee of success awaiting you. There will never be a guarantee.

There may be no net to catch you when you fall.

People who tell you it’ll all work out if you chase your dreams shouldn’t be trusted (especially if they’re selling you something). Nothing always works out. Many, many things don’t.

Does that mean you shouldn’t ever have leapt? That you shouldn’t dare venture out beyond the trappings of comfort?

Maybe. (You didn’t see that coming, did you?)

Who knows? You may be better off cocooned in safety.

The pressures of having vast, open possibility in front of you may become burden rather than adventure; the paradox of choice can be crippling. You may not like heeding the imperative to design your own life from the ground up, carving your own path instead of following a well-worn trail. It may be one of the most painful things you do.

But just maybe…

The act of stretching beyond your limits becomes the reward itself.

Maybe if you hadn’t danced with reckless courage now, you would never have dared again.

Maybe the risk of falling flat on your face for something poetic, stupid, and wildly creative is something everyone should do once, just to say they did.

You cannot know what’s on the other side. But do you need to?

In fact, can you ever really?

Even your safest moves on the board are just calculated bets in one a game where we can never truly know when the final checkmate signals the end.

The leap will teach you about yourself.

It will force you to think about what’s important and why. It’ll show you your true colors: how disciplined are you? What are you chasing? How much reverence do have for hard work? Who matters in your life? Who sticks around when your old world collapses? And what can you give up to sustain the lifestyle you’ve chosen?

These are questions most people take great pains their entire lives to avoid. Usually if they’re asking them, it means something bad has happened; they were forced towards the big questions.

But if you are one of the 1% who dares to tend to these questions, to step towards knowing instead of waiting for it to corner you, you will unlock self-discovery.

And this — the insight behind the question mark we always dance around — is worth every risk of falling with no net.

I don’t know what’s on the other side of the leap for you. But I do know what’s on the other side of self-discovery:

Freedom.

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