There’s one of those uplifting sayings they put at the bottom of posters with kittens climbing trees or something, that says “Do Something That Scares You Every Day”. I think this is a bit extreme, I’m all for the good weekly or monthly scare. But essentially, this coupled with Nietzsche’s “That Which Does Not Kill Me Makes Me Stronger” means essentially this: challenge, and your life will be richer thereby.

Challenge is scary. Challenge, by definition, is something that you have to extend yourself to meet, and the outcome is uncertain. Challenge can take many forms.

Maybe it’s a defiance to the status quo. Maybe it’s asking “why” in a culture that discourages it. Maybe it’s rocking the boat. Maybe it’s flying in the face of that which is expected of you. Challenge is scary to you, and to others, because challenge is change.

And people really don’t like change (usually).

And change does not have to be a bad thing.

There was a time when bathing was an annual event because in doing so you’d “catch your death of cold)(nevermind that by not bathing you were almost assured to get that death anyway). There was a time when your life, your path was determined from the time you were born and no manner of training or gumption could change your circumstance. There was a time when the world was flat, when the sun revolved around the earth, and when women and persons of color could not vote.

Sometimes it’s scary. And sometimes it won’t change the course of humanity, of governments, of cities, or even your whole life — maybe just the course of your day.

Lucille Ball once said she’d rather suck her gums by the fire in her old age regretting the things that she did, than the things that she didn’t. We should too.

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