Get happier, be brave, but not reckless

#happier #brave #reckless #risk #fear #courage

“Few things are more thrilling than trying to outrun the Pamplona bulls at the possible cost of your life” — Paul Ebeling

Maybe the running of the bulls sounds ridiculous to you. But the tradition offers each of us a lesson about exposing yourself to a bit of danger. No doubt many people running with the bulls are brave, but many are reckless.

If you need to feel more alive, or increase your courage, or see what you are made of, doing something that knocks you out of your safety zone might just be the solution. A bit of fear and danger, experienced on purpose, can work magic.

As much as some people enjoy risk the happiness they derive tends to occur after the fact. In Y 2019, researchers studying downhill mountain bikers found that the riders said that the sport gave them a lot of happiness; however, their happiness was lower during the activity than before and after. The thrills seem to come more from having done something risky than actually doing it. In other words, you might be happy to have run with the bulls, but while running you will probably just be really scared.

When it comes to happiness, your extreme sport might not be a sport at all. Think about the things you have been putting off or feel like you cannot do that might be possible with some real bravery. Maybe the challenge is physical, like bungee jumping, or maybe instead it is social or emotional, like telling someone your true feelings or getting serious about a job change you need to make. If it sounds simultaneously possible and terrifying, you will know you have found the right thing.

The 1st step is to envision yourself doing the thing that scares you, and how you will feel about yourself if you take that risk. This will get you used to the idea, and make it less daunting.

In many cases visualizing your white whale will lead you to realize that the odds of catastrophe are extremely low or that if things do go South, they will not end in death.

Making a plan allows you to savor the person you want to become, a person who does a hard thing of her own volition, precisely because it is hard.

Open that door you’re afraid to open. You may see angry bulls waiting to chase you down uneven streets. But your best self may be in there with them.

Have a happy, prosperous week, Keep the Faith!