Another metaphor for life. I read we have between 30,000 and 75,000 thoughts per day, and 80% of them are random thoughts. Nonsensical musing and pondering. This really puts into perspective all the negative thoughts we have that can ruin our day. Best to think positive, avoiding worry.
This got me thinking on taking risk. You never will know your true potential if you always stay within your comfort zone. I myself would never cliff dive, but you can consider life is a series of calculated uncertainties anyway. Risk does not always mean peril.
I remembered something the other day that I learned in college biology, spurred by an article I read by National Geographic called The Mystery of Risk. It discusses how the combination of adrenaline and dopamine determines our ability to take risk. Dopamine helps elicit a sense of satisfaction when we accomplish tasks. It helps make us move forward and explore. It drives us toward risk. The higher risk we take, the larger the hit of dopamine.
We all don’t jump off cliffs or drop from a plane, but not all of us have the same amount of dopamine either. There are molecules on the surface of our nerve cells called autoreceptors and they control how much dopamine we make which controls our inclination to take risk.
I have always been a risk taker, but I did not always put myself in extreme peril. These guys diving are risk takers, thrill seekers or adrenaline junkies. Sure they perform a show each day at the Sheraton Hotel, but they dive off higher cliffs around the island too. I cannot fathom diving into waves hitting huge rocks. Just a bit beyond what I would have ever tried when younger. But I would have learned to dive below the surface when younger. Now, no way.
In the linked article, photographer and deep-sea diver Paul Nicklen was interviewed. I saw him here in Buffalo in 2014, at Buffalo’s Kleinhans Music Hall. If you ever get to see one of his presentations, do so. He is a great photographer and extreme risk taker. He must be flowing and filled with dopamine.