The Bliss Blog

While speaking with a client today about some trepidation he had with regard to new opportunities that were opening for him, a metaphor came to me. Like many folks, this man fears getting into something he can’t readily get out of. I likened his experience to that of being on a carnival ride vs. a playground ride. When at a carnival, you purchase your tickets for whatever amusement you want to enjoy, climb aboard and if needed, fasten your seat belt and put down the bar across your lap. You either scream wildly out of fun or fear for the duration. You realize that you can’t stop the ride when you want to get off. Each one is timed to run its course and when it stops and only then, can you disembark. The rules are the same, whether it is a merry go round, Ferris wheel or roller coaster. The person at the helm is controlling it . You are at their whim.

If, instead, you are on a playground where there are monkey bars, a sliding board or swings, you are in charge. As long as no one else is waiting behind you to use the equipment, you choose how long you take the ride. You could run around all day, or make a short visit. It really is a toss up, which venue to choose. For some, being in control, with its safe options and pace, is the way to go. By making that choice, they sacrifice excitement and the lure of the unknown. For others, relinquishing the reins and letting someone else decide how long the experience lasts, requires a sense of trust that they will be able to make it through the experience. They know that it will eventually end, because they have seen others get on before the ride commences and get off when it is over, so odds are, they will as well.

Although I am primarily in the second category, wanting to be in control and experiencing motion sickness on some of the spinny rides I used to love as a child, a few years ago, I threw caution to the wind when I went to Disneyland with co-workers. I rode on a few that stretched my comfort zones including a roller coaster that turned us upside down, called California Scream. I boarded the car next to a ten year old boy, with my friends behind me. I asked him if he was scared. He said he wasn’t. I have to admit that I was, particularly since I was all but a few months post heart attack and the signs cautioned that someone like me shouldn’t oughta be considering a ride like that. I figured that if I was gonna buy the farm, at least I would do it while having the time of my life. When the ride ended a few hair raising minutes later, my friends laughed and said that they hadn’t seen my hands up in the air when the coaster car rounded the bend or dashed down an incline. “That’s because I as too busy gripping the bars and squeezing my eyes shut,” is what I told them. That day lives in marvelous memory as I felt I had earned my stripes and badge of courage.

What is your riding style?



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