life Opinion reflections

The Island Conundrum

When do you know to swim back into the open waters in search for the next island? Do you stay for safety, or do you take a leap of faith into the unknown?

Upon considering this particular situation that I am in, my eyebrows furrow, my facial muscles are tense and I come to the realization by shoulders are hunched – is it my sub-conscious protecting myself or simply preparing myself for a flight or fight mode.

What do you do when you feel lost?

I weigh the pros and cons, and I decide which option cuts my losses the most. But what if emotions come into play, alongside loyalty and fears of the unknown?

Here I am on an island that I have come ashore after swimming in the open seas for awhile now. It has been months and the island is a safe place. There are predators around but I believe I have the tools and skills to protect myself from them. They still invoke fear in me, but I know how to keep myself on my toes to ensure my survival. I am friendly and cordial with the natives, but I don’t see myself adapting to their lifestyle and continuing to stay on this island. Should I swim into the unknown for a potentially better life if I am able to survive and ride the waves? Or should I stay a little longer on this island to further hone my survival skills that will ultimately be useful in my life?

Swimming out of this island would be throwing myself into the open sea with only myself to rely on, my skills are essentially my life buoy and my life is what will keep this buoy afloat. I may end up on a smaller island fraught with equal or more danger, in addition to a new environment where I will have to identify and build up on newer survival skills to survive before I am able to regain enough strength to go back into the open water for the next search. Alternatively, I may end up on an island with a highly-developed civilization with no predators and a more peaceful existence.

Bearing in mind, my camaraderie with the natives whom I know requires my existence for our collective survival, I am conflicted between a search for a new land for my own and sharpening my knife for the hunt for food with these people.

I read the insightful and inspiring article on ‘How To Ensure Your Future Is Greater Than Your Past‘ by Benjamin P.Hardy and the quote that struck me was this:

“Our path is not about what we have done or where we have been; it is about where we are going and what we are becoming.” — Reyna Aburto

I can see the point in this quote: as time rolls forward, what is important is the progress that we are making instead of what has been done. I think the past definitely matters. but I think it shouldn’t be something that defines one. What is important is that just like the movement of time, we grow by progressing and moving forward positively.

One could have been weak-minded in the past, but it doesn’t mean that one would continue being weak-minded in the future. With acknowledgement of what needs to be improve on and with the appropriate steps taken in the right direction, one would change for the better. Similarly, if one has been successful in the past, I think it definitely lends credibility and garners admiration, but with the onset of time say 30 years of dormant progress after that one bout of success, I think adulation and adoration from that one past glorious success would be more negligible compared to the bigger bouts of accomplishment in the future.

Perhaps, I am on this island for a reason and I should continue to hone my skills. So long as there is progress, no matter how small it is, I ought to take pride in it and continue gunning for my personal growth. Hopefully, one fine day when I am confident enough of my skill sets, should I take the leap to swim into the open waters once more.

Picture from Ognature

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