Be Careful

6-year-old Jason woke up with a sense of adventure. It was sunny, and he was in a good mood. He got out of bed, washed, swallowed his breakfast and threw his backpack on his shoulder. His mom shouted “Be Careful”. And Jason went to school.

Jason looked up at the teacher. Mr Glowsburry was looming above him like a mountain over a little daisy flower. The teacher was looking directly at the drawing, which Jason had worked on for the last 30 min. The teacher said: “Be Careful”, Don’t cross over the lines!

Jason jumped over a log. His Boy Scout instructor shouted to him: “Be Careful”, you might break your leg!

At sunday school Jason loved the story sister Matilda told with such a pure passion. The conclusion of the story was: Always “Be Careful” when crossing the street.  Since that day Jason always looked three times before stepping on the street.

At the age of 35, Jason stepped out of his office cubicle and started walking towards the door. He has spent the last 15 years in the same, government job with good benefits.

“Be Careful”, he said to himself. You might lose your job. His friend just got fired for a minor outburst of anger.

Jason once told his friend  that he would want to travel and see India. He was always fascinated with Indian culture, especially cuisine. His friend told him: “Be Careful”. In India, there are germs everywhere, and you might get killed by extremists. His friend watches  TV a lot, and his advice must be true. Jason never went to India. He went on a cruise to Bahamas instead.

Jason wanted to start a business. He had this great idea about a software that would automate a particular, utterly mundane office task. He was really excited about it. His associate said to him : “Be Careful”, You might lose all your money on something like that. Jason never started a business. He kept doing the same mundane task for another 20 years.

The cemetary smelled with freshly dug out soil. The hole was 6 feet deep. Father Benjamin looked at  the men lowering the casket. There were more of them than usual and they were still struggling: “Be Careful”, he whispered to himself.

Do you think that Jason lived a good life? Have you taken any risks lately? How about calculated risks? Is safe really safe? Do you like Jason’s cubicle design:)? Why did the undertaker hire more men than usual? Share your thoughts with us.

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25 Comments on Be Careful

  1. Hey Derek,
    Unrealized dreams and goals can weigh more than realized dreams and goals; thus, the extra workers. Even if this wasn’t your intent, it is worth mentioning. Most people die without realizing their dreams or goals. Cemeteries are full of inventions never brought to market, best sellers that weren’t written, songs that weren’t sung. In the end, lives not lived. I speak frankly about this because I lived in this way. My attitude was, “Whatever happens, happens”. I chose to accept what life had given me. We don’t realize that we can demand more from life by demanding more from ourselves. We can go to India or jump over a log. We just have to determine to do it. And then do it. I’m glad to be here Derek as I see your determination.
    Live it LOUD!

  2. Did he live a good life? He could have; it depends on if he was satisfied with his lot in life and generally a happy person or if he always wondered “what if”?

    A lot of people place boundaries for financial or family responsibility reasons.

    Personally, I think happiness and fulfillment is a state of being. It has more to do with your outlook and demeanor than perceived missed opportunities.

    A ‘thinking’ post though; good one Derek.
    Bill Dorman recently posted..Slow down- sharp curve aheadMy Profile

    • Hey Bill,
      Thank you for your comment. I wrote this post with a certain angle in mind, but you just provided another way to look at this man’s life.
      You are right, whether his life was good or not depends mainly on his inner game.
      Which gives us the important lesson: Your mental attitude or outlook maybe more important than your actions. Who knows?
      I guess, I will just leave it to my readers interpretation.
      Smart comment Bill
      Derek Potocki recently posted..Disease In Personal Development BlogsMy Profile

  3. Hey Dereck,
    Why do we see this everywhere?
    People stop taking risks, are taught not to take risks.

    It is only in the risk that we can win.
    Sure you don’t have to put your neck on the line but you can go out on a limb once in a while.

    In 2 months I will be quitting my day job, it is a great job, country manager, well paid. But it isn’t my dream.

    I will be taking a 50% job to cover expenses while I get my income from my business rolling so I don’t consider it a risk.
    It is an important decision.
    Daniel M. Wood recently posted..Motivational Tip 8 – Working Out RegularlyMy Profile

  4. Hi Derek
    Did he lead the life he wanted to live is the question. If being excessively careful and never stepping out of one’s comfort works works for you, then God bless. Of course you might disillusion yourself with that answer but you would never convince me.
    RILEY HARRISON recently posted..Fantasy Vs RealityMy Profile

  5. This is such a thought-provoking post, Derek! I’m a firm believer that there’s not much that’s really safe these days. Just think about those massive earthquakes all over the world, the recession and global warming. There aren’t any more excuses for wasting our time living “careful” lives.

    I agree with what Bill said about our outlook making a difference, but I still think that calculated risks bring excitement and highs that we wouldn’t get any other way. And I really feel that those highs are what life is essentially about. Risks don’t have to be thoughtless and unplanned while highs don’t have to be from bungee jumping. =P
    Samantha Bangayan recently posted..Want to Know Your FutureMy Profile

    • Hey Samantha,
      You showed up as promised. Whoa!
      Yes, Bill offered just another look at the man’s life. Bill focused on attitude and positive thinking. However, personally I don’t subscribe to the mindset that we can build our lives on thinking alone. We are physical beings as well. Therefore action is necessary as well.
      I fully agree with you Samantha: CALCULATED RISKS bring zest in life. (bungee jumping is not necessary). We need them. At least I do:)
      We are kindred spirits.
      Derek Potocki recently posted..Be CarefulMy Profile

      • What? You disagreed with me?…………..:)

        Not thinking alone, but you portrayed a bleak picture whearas just because he didn’t make certain choices, he made choices and ultimately may have been satisfied with his lot in life. If he didn’t want for much then he could have been very satisfied……..just sayin’…….

        • Hi Bill,
          I know what you’re saying. You ARE CORRECT, I’ve observed buddhist monks doing “nothing” but meditating all day for years. They claimed they were happy. (so it’s thoughts?). Now some of those monks left and went to the “real world” to live life of struggle and achievement.
          I guess, whatever floats your boat, right?
          Derek Potocki recently posted..Be CarefulMy Profile

  6. Hi Derek –

    I think Jason lived a careful life.

    Whether or not it was good is debatable. Was Jason completely at his happiest when following directions to take cautious care of himself? Contributing to the peace of mind of those who loved and cared for him? Possibly.

    Does someone with a dream, in Jason’s case many dreams (India, the business idea he was really excited about), find happiness when those dreams are thwarted? Doubtful.

    I don’t think he was truly happy. He wanted to create a product that would eliminate the need for a person to do an utterly mundane office task… yet he ended up doing that mundane task for 20 more years.

    Sounds more like hell to me.

    Is your casket riddle something like Portia’s hidden portrait in the Merchant of Venice?

    Or was it heavy because Jason was buried with the money he never spent on his ideas and dreams? He carefully took his ‘riches’ with him to him with grave? The term ‘riches’ being highly debatable… an enriched life? I don’t think so.

    Awesome post. I loved all of it. You are a bona fide talent Derek!

    Theresa Bradley-Banta recently posted..Ask Yourself This- Am I Creating a Lighthouse… or a ShipMy Profile

    • Hi Theresa,
      It’s a pleasure to have you here. I missed you when you were away from your blog out in the woods:)
      I love your comment, so thorough! I had no idea this post would bring a bit of a heated debate. I’m with you on the thought, that Jason was not happy. However, Bill and Hajra offered alternative views and they are valuable as well. Being grateful for what we have is important too.
      This post has just turned in some mysterious riddle like you said and to add to mystery I will just leave it like that:)
      Got to check Merchant Of Venice…
      Thank you Theresa,
      Derek Potocki recently posted..Be CarefulMy Profile

      • Whoa Derek! You’re NOT going to answer the riddle???

        “Why did the undertaker hire more men than usual?”

        Oh… no. I don’t know if I can go on without knowing. No hints?

        You are getting some amazing comments these days Derek. Nice work:)
        Theresa Bradley-Banta recently posted..Got a MinuteMy Profile

        • I had a specific reason in mind, but since this post turned into something it wasn’t originally intended, I like it that way even more.
          Thank you Theresa,
          I will restrain from hints if you allow me, wink, wink again:)
          Derek Potocki recently posted..Be CarefulMy Profile

  7. Hey Derek,

    Well, sadly Jason is in that coffin; otherwise he would have been in a better position to tell us whether he was happy or not. Happiness is too subjective. Personally, I think happiness is all about being content. Was Jason happy that he was living a careful life, was he happy being careful; maybe he was.

    But then germs are everywhere why blame poor India. I lived there seven years and I was fit as a fiddle; so again coming to my point of view I wouldn’t say India is all that bad. I love it and go back every year. So again, personal choices determining happiness!

    Maybe Jason wasn’t the kind who liked all that adventure and jazz; maybe if he did go, he might have been less happier. Again, personal preferences. So, what I want to say is, maybe we think others are living miserable lives because they don’t share our passions, our interests, our lifestyles but that doesn’t make them less happier.

    A very interesting post! Loved it :)
    Have a nice day!
    Hajra recently posted..Reasons I am Breaking Up With Your Blog!My Profile

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