Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. (Goethe)
When I was a senior in high school in Taiwan, I experienced incredible pain. We had to prepare for entry examinations to the universities. At that time, there were not that many universities in Taiwan, so we had to work very hard to pass the exam to enter the select few institutions at our disposal. Then I naively believed that passing the exam and entering a prestigious university would guarantee me that I would have an easy and successful life.
It didn't quite work out that way. As soon as I passed the exam and entered one of the top universities, I somehow felt like that I was dead already. I felt like that all of my energy - my life even - had been sucked out of me. I felt a strong urge to leave the university, take a rest, and think about what I really wanted to accomplish instead. However, I didn’t dare to do so because only rebels would miss out on such a great opportunity to advance economically, socially and professionally. I was so scared of going against the trend; even fearing that I would somehow lose everything by leaving the prestigious education behind. The fear won that time, so I continued on the well-trodden path.
Almost 30 years have passed. I realize today that my alternative life story would have been just fine as well, and probably even more exciting. How many of us have wasted parts of our lives because of fear? How many of us didn’t dare to live out our true self because of the need to feel secure and comfortable. Religions, competitive schools, big companies; all of these give us a feel of security, status and comfort, but our creativity withers away unless we go after what is truly meaningful to us.
Dare to dream! Be brave to live your life; there is nothing to lose except your fear. When we realize that nothing can really hurt us, we start to discover paths that few others are willing to tread. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe must have been a TAO traveler as well - the WAY rewards boldness, so please stand up for what you truly care about.
By Su Zhen