Greed or Fear, Which One Is Driving You?
As a kid my family went on holiday every year to a small, remote hotel on the Wild Coast in a region of South Africa that was called the Transkei. Over several years of fortnight holidays, I learned to windsurf on a lagoon that was the size of maybe three football fields. On days when the north easterly wind blew the windsurfing was incredible. I would fly up and down across the lagoon, skimming along with my body just inches above the water. The spray in my face and the feeling of joy and freedom. Like all holidays they were over in a flash.
I remember cold winter days while at boarding school when I craved longingly for the April holidays to came round again and to be back on my favourite lagoon.
Looking back now with the wisdom that comes with age I see a young teenager filled with greed. Greedy for more of this beautiful experience. Craving the thrill of the ride and the adrenaline that comes from the sensation of speed.
Being greedy is often a judgement that we have of others who we deem to be taking more than their fair share. A simple definition of greed is the desire for more. I see no harm here.
A good friend of mine would often watch me skimming along while he quietly fished the banks of the lagoon. One day he said to me, “you are pretty good at that windsurfing thing now”. He had seen me in the days when I was learning for the first time. Back then I spent more time in the water than on the board. Then he asked, “when are you going to sail in the sea?” I felt my entire body contract in absolute fear.
I had conquered the challenge of sailing like a pro on the lagoon. I could do tricks and jibes all day long, I was in my comfort zone. My friend had just challenged me to take on the waves of the big blue Indian ocean. My brain could not process what it meant to sail in the sea. Just the thought of taking on that challenge was too much for me. My convenient excuse was that I did not have the right equipment.
Again, looking back with the wisdom of age I was right about not having the right equipment. I was not mentally equipped to take on that challenge. The fear that I felt was me wanting to avoid a situation where I would be tested beyond my limits.
I have since learned that greed and fear are two ends of the spectrum. Too much of something that results in the neglect of other important aspects of life is not good for me. At the same time over committing to something that is beyond my capability is also detrimental. Like most things in life the balance is between more of what I love and gently pushing the envelope of my capabilities.
Justin Spencer-Young @fastforwardjsy