“Oh!”. This is new, this looks interesting, this will be challenging, this feels frightening.
Suddenly fear sets in, paralysing your newfound curiosity, flooding your mind with all sorts of both rational and irrational arguments. Can you do this? Should you? Is it even possible? An opportunity just turned a comfortable valley of an equilibrium upside down and placed you at the tip of an unstable one. From this vantage point, you now have a choice: either you let your future self stand in between, or you move an inch past. You now have a chance: stand back, or step forward.
You let go, embracing fear as it embraces you in return, passing through like a friendly ghost moments before it vanishes. Only you remain, and the path is now clear, a soothing void into which pours some newfound energy. Yet the harder you try, the more it resists, becoming increasingly elusive to you. So you push at it, smash on it, just as much as it smashes into you. Each time there’s doubt, and pain, and rage, despair even as you look up against what seems to be unfathomable odds. You feel drained by the effort, siphoned by the dread of being overwhelmed.
Yet, slowly, small pieces start to connect and you are bestowed a peek into a beautiful whole. So you keep it up, sometimes low, sometimes high, a rhythmic tide against the shore that tries to conceal you, every failure and every success incrementally breaking, building and selecting neural pathways in a relentless feedback loop, slowly chipping away at yourself, each time destroying a little part only to be replaced with a slightly more fit combination.
And then, as the obstacle finally gives in, the odds vanish, friction is no more, you feel nimble. The ocean is yours, and you feel the the ocean inside of you. You’re starting to grok it, and you can’t let it go.