A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
John A. Shedd
This has been a truly inspiring quote that I’ve been introduced to by a friend. There are moments that I get exhausted. The complexity of the world pushes the weak-minded self to give up. The many responsibilities that we are flooded with, especially as social beings, are too often overwhelming and unpredictable. However, a ship in harbor, a human in idleness, is free from all perils. Does there exist an incentive to not stay at the harbor?
Failures hurt. This is probably why many are afraid to challenge themselves. Yet, nothing in the world is for nothing. To achieve what one treasures, one should be determined to input as much effort as one values it. Although tough, an equitable society can only be achieved with such stipulations. When there are limited resources, those who want them the most, in other words, those that would work hardest for them earn them. However, this leads to competition. And, in competition, many are defeated. This gives the feeling of inaptitude. One gets the impression that one is defined by the lost battle. However, a war’s triumph cannot be decided by a single battle. Furthermore, a human is more than the competitions he/she is involved in.
Inaptitude isn’t the only factor that leads to losses. Many believe that talented people are those who would succeed, yet there should be a clearer definition of what this talent is. There are not many things in the world, in fact, that could be achieved with individual effort. Success is an intertwined result of numerous factors, and an individual can only partake in it. The timing, ideals and emotions of others involved, sequence of events are a few of countless uncontrollable factors that dramatically affect success. As unpredictable these are, failure cannot define who one is. Failure is bound to happen to everyone. It is the talent to trudge on despite these failures that matters the most.
Ships are designed to overcome vicious storms and high tides. Men, too, are designed to overcome all kinds of difficulties. No one has walked, or spoke since birth. It is only human to fall down uncountable times and blubber millions of words to master the common skill of walking and speaking. Let it be more difficult endeavors, failure is even more prevalent. Accepting the fact that our ship will not always be led by tail winds is the first step of facing failures. Falling down is inevitable, but the damage is not the same if one could anticipate and undertake it. By understanding the nature of failure one could hurt less and learn more from experiences. Besides, whether one fails or succeeds, what one truly earns is what one learns.
This should be an encouragement for those who are too lax. It is the people most afraid that are lax. The bravest people are consistently pushing forward. Although they fall down much more times, they advance at least a step on each trial. Nothing teaches better than the trial and error method. It is indisputable that those who go through more trials, and more errors, would be more likely gain the results that they want. Life is too short to spend much time at the harbor. I agree that occasional returns to the harbor is good and essential. However, the majority of one’s life should be spent in the sea. Life is too great of a gift to be idly wasted. Let’s use this great ship to explore the vast world.
#2 7 Ways To Step Out of Your Comfort Zone in Berkeley
Written by Jane Seung
Comfort is a wonderful thing. It gives us peace, a stable mind, and a warm positivity that comes from familiarity. And while there is nothing wrong with not wanting to leave your comfort zone, there are also things -wonderful things- to be gained once you step out of it. You know some things that you like to do, and some other things that you don’t like to do- but you simply don’t know the things that you do not yet know. And the only way you will ever find out is to break out of that safe bubble and expose yourself to some things you don’t normally expose yourself to.
It is true –and I’ve been there- that stepping out of your comfort zone is much more easily said than done. It might be easy to think about it and plan for it, but actually taking that foot and placing it over the line takes a lot. However, there is a science to stepping out of your comfort zone. Like just about everything else, leaving your comfort zone gets easier with practice. Rather than taking your first step with something so outrageously far outside of your comfort zone that it will only leave you distressed and feeling like you never want to try it again, taking small steps and gradually increasing that leap is a better way to do it for many people. So for all the beginners out there, here are some (relatively) nice and easy ways to help you master the art of stepping out of your comfort zone:
1. Strike up a conversation with your barista
Instead of mindlessly watching your baristas do their thing at Peet’s or Starbucks while you wait for your grande sugar-free soy iced latte with an extra shot, a touch of vanilla syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon at 120 degrees, start a conversation with them. Ask them about their favorite coffee. Tell them how much you appreciate their skillful handling of your cup of deliciousness.
2. Get off at a random bus stop
Take the AC Transit- the 51B, or the F, or the 18- or the BART and get off at a stop where you’ve never gotten off before. Take your time to explore the area- if you can’t find anything interesting, keep walking until you do. Pop into a bakery, a bookstore, a coffee shop or a restaurant. Take some photos to remember where you’ve been.
3. Have lunch with a different person everyday for a week
Make use of that one-hour gap between your afternoon classes and ask someone if you may join them for lunch. Ask a friend whom you’ve sat next to in your 11am Linear Algebra discussion for ten weeks but never talked to- or that guy in your club whom you’ve interacted the least with. Ask your GSI, or your favorite columnist from the Berkeley Opinion. Share your stories and listen to theirs, talk about your commonalities and differences. By taking another person’s point of view, you might be able to broaden your own. Who knows? Maybe a one-hour lunch conversation will turn into a lasting friendship.
4. Cook a foreign dish
Choose a foreign dish you might like to try and look for a recipe. Make a trip to an international food market if you need to. Invite your friends, and introduce the dish to them if they are not familiar with it.
5. Busk on Sproul Plaza with a friend
Can’t play any musical instrument? No problem! Bring along a friend and some speakers, put on a mood-boosting track, and put on a show! If you draw in enough people with your energy and song choice, you might even start a flashmob.
6. Gather a group of friends and try an activity you’ve never tried before
If you are not the adventurous type, force yourself to make plans with some friends ahead of time so that you’ll feel bad about bailing out. Go fishing, white water rafting, or indoor skydiving. Go take a pottery class at a community center, learn how to box, golf, woodwork, knit, or ice-skate. Try a cultural activity like the Irish stepdance, Japanese tea ceremony, African drumming or Korean Barbeque. Learn how to ride a horse, or sail a boat.
7. Try babysitting or dog-sitting (if you haven’t already)
If you’ve never babysat or dog-sat before, try it. Not just because it’s fun, but also because taking care of another human being or animal is an important, rewarding and fascinating job, and you will most likely learn something about yourself along the way- like how you deal with crisis and how responsible you can be.