Safety is an Illusion

RelaxI’d intended to write this post even before I found this beautiful image to go with it. Safety is an illusion. So is security, certainty and control. Nothing’s under control. No-one can predict the future, not even Warren Buffett as I like to say when we are playing Cashflow. We don’t know what’s coming, any of us.

When I was a little girl and we used to watch Miss World on television (now there’s a bygone era, thank God), my Dad used to say after the results were announced “I KNEW it would be her”. But did he say that in advance? Did he have a bet on her? Did he heck as like! Soon us kids caught on and used to make him write down his predictions in advance. That put paid to his smugness.

They do it on X Factor where you will remember the judges are the sort of people who ought to know how to predict musical winners. They make them write down who they think will win, weeks in advance, in golden envelopes which they then open after we know the winner. Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh with a combined – what – fifty years in the music industry? Spot on? NO! Wrong as often as not. No-one knows the future. Told ya.

So given that we don’t, the experts don’t, no-one does… why are we so obsessed with safety, security, certainty, knowing and control? Everything is uncertain. Nothing is known. Life’s a massive scary adventure, even in something which looks rock solid like a job, your health, your family, your marriage and any of us being invincible and living forever.

OK, there are things you can do to improve your chances of longevity and success in a lot of those areas. But equally any could be whipped away without warning in a way which you never saw coming. And perhaps that’s such a scary concept that it explains why we need to to feel we know, why we need to feel “safe” and certain.

I wonder if you are clinging to a day job (or anything else for that matter) because it feels safe, when what you would really like to be doing is starting your own business which feels risky and scary. I can confirm that being self-employed is indeed risky and scary and right now I think it’s more of both of those than I have ever known it to be in my entire business career as an entrepreneur which goes way way back to 1977, the year that Elvis died. And yet it is still better – and no less certain or safe – than being in a day job which you hate and which saps the very life force out of you.

So what are you waiting for? Who can you 100% depend on for your own gainful employment, if not yourself?

Whether it be leaving the day job or anything else which isn’t good for you, take the leap. Everything will change and some of it – perhaps even most of it – will be for the better, but you won’t die and you will learn to re-define safety and to make your own if you need it. I’m not sure it exists, that’s why I say it’s an illusion. And I decided a while back to stop chasing it.

Live in the moment. Go with the flow. That’s all there is. And it is so much more than we need.

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