Math = EEEEEW. I hate math, in fact, all social workers hate math. And often times social workers say they just, flat-out, refuse to do math. But, a few months ago, I had a fulfilling conversation with a friend and family member that has stuck with me. We discussed a concept of life being like math, as you add, subtract, multiply, and divide. We can either add to the world, subtract from the world, multiply the world, or divide it.
And we cannot move ahead in life without solving the problem in front of us…A solution exists somewhere and it is up to us to appreciate patience, learn the skill, and solve the problem before we can move forward.
It is a simple and obvious concept, but I find that sometimes the most obvious motivators and solutions need to be said out loud…Who do you want to be? Do you want to add positivity to the world, do you want to take away from it, do you want to multiply the impact you have on the world, or do you want to divide the world? Do you want to find solutions, or cheat your way through? Who are you now, and who do you want to be?
During the conversation I was having with these two insightful individuals, we discussed the connection between the math concept and being present in life and opportunity. When we open our eyes to our surroundings, we constantly have opportunity knocking at our doors. It is up to us to recognize it and decide if we take a leap of faith, or if we live in our every day normal.
Although these two concepts seem very different, they are related. Our ability to multiply and add to the world enhances our ability to understand and see faith in taking leaps and recognizing opportunity. What is life if we do not try new things, if we do not step out of our comfort zone, and what impact could we have if we change our attitudes and behaviors? In order to live life fully and be open to opportunity, we have to understand our impact on the world; what we add to it, or what we wish to add.
When I am fearful and hesitant to take a leap of faith or step out of my comfort zone, the first thing I ask myself is, what is the worst thing that could happen? I allow myself to go there; to the most fearful and risky part of the situation. I play that out, and then I find the solution to that problem, should it happen. Because even in the worst of times, we have proven to ourselves that we can get through it, as we are all still here, right? In the worst of times, we have pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps and gotten through it.
I promised myself I would always explore the opportunity in front of me, go to the worst-case scenario, find the solution to that and ask myself if it is worth the risk. I evaluate my options and ask myself how I want to feel at the end of this rainbow…Would I rather have tried and maybe failed, to at least know the outcome? Would I rather take the chance of exploring the opportunity knowing it is where my heart truly is, and if I fail I have a higher faith in knowing it was all meant to be? Or do I live in my current situation, not ever and potentially always wondering what could have been?
The choice is up to you and what is most comfortable, which is the beauty of choice.
Life is about opportunity, exploration, and happiness. We are not meant to stay within a box of ‘societal norms’ and expectations we put on ourselves. Life is about learning, enjoying, and exploring. It is about taking risks and learning lessons, or taking risks and multiplying our impact when we find that the risk was worth it.
Speak your truth, and do not apologize for being exactly who you are. Change brings opportunity. Success comes from taking opportunities and taking that chance. We can create the right opportunity to add to our lives.
If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity, but you are not sure you can do it, say yes, then learn how to do it later. ~