Tasting The Canvas

In prior essays I suggested that you embrace failure as a means to an eventual success.  Also, that a byproduct of coping with failure is developing the wherewithal to handle difficult situations.  In this essay I will share a bit of my own story and how I put this philosophy into action.

Over the past three years I have faced multiple health issues, including severe back pain.  Since doctors were unable to diagnose the cause of my back pain from x-rays and MRIs, I tried numerous forms of treatment in an attempt to get well.  Below is a list of the modalities of treatment that I tried:

  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractor
  • Physical Therapy
  • Pool Therapy
  • PDTR (Proprioceptive Deep Tendon Reflex)
  • Trigger Point Injections
  • Facet Joint Injections
  • Platelet Rich Plasma Injections
  • Prolotherapy Injections
  • Massage Therapy
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Reiki
  • Essential Oils
  • Rolfing
  • Myofascial Release
  • Osteopathic Manipulation

One of my doctors told me he had never seen a patient willing to try so many different forms of treatment.  He once quipped, “I swear, if there was a witch doctor in the middle of the Amazon rainforest you thought could help, you’d be dropped by helicopter next to his hut.”

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Dare To Fail … But Why?

“I did not wish to take a cabin passage, but rather to go before the mast and on the deck of the world, for there I could best see the moonlight amid the mountains.  I do not wish to go below now.”

– Henry David Thoreau (from Travel in Concord)

In preceding essays, I have been encouraging you to “Dare to Fail.”  By now you might be asking yourself, “Why put myself through all of this in the first place?”  It really comes down to your goals in life.  As Thoreau wrote, do you wish “to go before the mast and on the deck of the world?  Or, do you wish to play it safe and “go below?  Before you choose, consider these words by someone who had every excuse to just play it safe:

“Security is mostly a superstition.  It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.  Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.  Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

– Helen Keller (Deaf and blind from the age of nineteen months)

So, what is the advantage of taking a position on the deck of the world, being exposed to wind, rain, and other unknown assaults?  How about developing the ability to handle a tough situation? Or, acquiring the wherewithal to get back on your feet after getting smacked to the ground?  How about possessing the poise to carry yourself with dignity and pride when others are cowering around you?  If you desire these qualities, then I suggest you follow Ms. Keller’s advice, and make your life a daring adventure!

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