I’d like to take a minute to appreciate how profoundly lucky I am.
I’m writing this from Winchester, Massachusetts where I’m currently spending a month living at home with my parents. Winchester (as described by Wikipedia) is “an affluent bedroom community for professionals who work in the greater Boston area.”1 The median house value is $899,7002 and almost everyone in my high school class went to college.
In simple terms, it means I had an easy life growing up. Or as Warren Buffett said, I won the “ovarian lottery”. The reason this is important is my foundation of safety and security has allowed me to live dangerously.
Not only do I know that I have a house and loving parents to return to if I need it, but I have a psychological foundation that stays with me wherever I go.
There is an unshakeable confidence that “everything will be ok” and I can’t take any credit for it.
One of the hallmarks of my childhood was knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that all my needs would be met, possibly before I even knew I needed them.
Funny enough, as I’m writing this in my bedroom, my Mom just came up and brought me some food. It’s 2pm and I haven’t eaten yet… how did she know? It’s been like that ever since I was born.
Does that mean I think my parents are perfect? No. I was a rebellious teenager and I saw them as too controlling, too smothering and not giving me enough freedom, but let’s face it… there are worse things than having parents like that.
Many of my friends had the opposite experience, they wanted more parental involvement. They often felt abandoned, either physically or emotionally by their parents, and those patterns play out in our adult life.
Risk Is Risky
Ultimately, the reason I wanted to share this is I tend to be the kind of person that’s always telling people to jump, to take risks and to live dangerously.
I even wrote an article called The Real Difference Between Traveling and Vacationing that in hindsight looks pretty cocky, because I suggest that the reason I’m able to travel so much is I embrace uncertainty. Here’s a quote from it.
I made friends with uncertainty. I’m not afraid of having my back against the wall and needing to figure things out doesn’t scare me as much as it used to. In fact sometimes it excites me, because I know my creativity and ingenuity is about to show me a new idea or possibility. I’m not rich, but I am resourceful.
The reason I’m able to be resourceful is I have that safety net, and it’s not just the physical safety net, it’s a psychological one too.
In fact, I think we all have a bigger psychological safety net than we realize. To me, that safety net is comprised of people who would help us if we needed it. Whether it’s our parents, our friends, or our community, we are really so supported.
Living with that kind of support has helped me take risks, and acknowledging that support has helped me be grateful for and better appreciate it.