Tell me about it.

The things most worth talking about often tend to be the most difficult to explain. Perhaps “difficult” isn’t the best word. You see, for life’s most profound experiences, words just fail me. The very thing that makes these experiences so compelling is that unexplainable quality. Their ineffability.

But they are also the experiences we most desperately seek explanation for and desire to understand before committing to doing them. They are risky or scary or otherwise cause us to pause.

I’ve done this to others and had it done unto me…
Seriously though, tell me all about it….And then what? And what about this? And that?

I think this comes (at least in the West) from our education and faith in critical thinking. A presumption that we can know; we can figure it out. Though critical thinking certainly has its place, it can also lead us down a path of contraction, shutting down possibilities before we’ve even had a chance to imagine, much less experience, them. Bringing critical thinking and only critical thinking to our decision-making process (about which experiences we do and don’t want to have) keeps the focus on flaws, which can easily turn into excuses not to do something.

The problem with the knowing-before-doing model is that we can never know everything. One key missing component, for example, is knowing how we will experience the thing in question. (Whereas the person we’re questioning only knows how they experienced it.) What will we make of it?

We all bring different things to our experiences and thus get different things out of them. And since, as Danielle LaPorte says, “You are the expert on you,” no one can ever tell you how something will be for you. They can only tell you how it was for them. And, of course, you’ll never know how it will be for you until you’ve done it.

Chances are if you’re interested enough to have generated multiple questions, it’s a sign you should go do the dang thing. Attempting to understand every aspect before you jump into the experience may well leave you wandering in your field of wondering. Just go for it.


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