5 Empowering Ways to Live Dangerously
by Gary Z. McGee
“The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
First, why even live dangerously? Because then you have your courage in front of you where it can be a spearhead piercing through the universe. You’re able to double down on living a courage-based lifestyle rather than flounder in the fear-based lifestyle of the masses.
When you’re living dangerously, you’re ahead of the curve. You’re a force of nature first, a person second. You’re able to climb the mountain of darkness and pain and angst and punch Fear square in the face. You’re able to take risks, turn tables, flip scripts, push envelopes, and challenge the gods. You’re a force to be reckoned with rather than a thing to be forced.
Here are five ways to live dangerously and grab life by the throat…
1.) Gamble on the edge with an edge:
“What one needs in this universe is not certainty but the courage and nerve of the gambler; not fixed conviction but adaptability; not firm ground whereupon to stand but skill in swimming.” ~Alan Watts
Go for broke. Go over the top. Live on the edge. Just do it with an edge. Do it with strategy and discipline. Do it with pluck and aplomb. Do it like it will save you from living a boring life. Because it will.
Life is too fleeting and short to leave it up to cultural conditioning and the whims of fate. Sometimes you must recondition your conditioning. Sometimes you must make your own fate. You do this by adopting the nerve of the gambler. By realizing that nothing is fixed. Everything is changing, moving, and flowing. Everything is transitory. No exceptions.
You do yourself a disservice by trying to remain fixed. Firm ground is a temporary illusion. As Paul Bowles said, “Security is a false God. Begin to make sacrifices to it and you are lost.” Find yourself by learning how to swim through the waters of change. Or, even better, learn how to surf the waters of vicissitude. Rip Curl into a new way of being human in the world.
2.) Overreach and overcome:
“There is no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We’ve got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.” ~D.H. Lawrence
Shoot for the stars. Your reach should always exceed your grasp. “Ready” is a trap. Don’t wait until you’re ready or you will always be stumbling over the procrastination of yourself. Your passion, whatever it may be, is in “the stars.” It’s beyond the horizon. It transcends you, therefore you must transcend.
Don’t balk. Don’t second guess it. Take the courage of the gambler and jump! Soft waters be damned! The obstacle is the path because the obstacle is always yourself. Be the path.
The best way to overcome is to overreach. Pull Heaven down into Hell. Go all in on what makes you come alive. Outwit the devil. Bluff God. Overcome your outdated self—that part of you still hung-up on cultural conditioning, indoctrination, and brainwashing. Then adapt to being an adaptable being with the power to astonish the world.
3.) Say c’est la vie to safety nets:
“I choose love over fear, always. I’d rather burn in the fire after touching something true than not feel anything.” ~Victoria Erickson
Allow passion to be your providence. Your passion is that thing that makes you come alive. Let it be quintessential. Let it be sacred. Let it breathe. The worst thing you can do is ignore it. And the easiest way to ignore it is to cower at the center of your comfort zone or cling to your safety net.
Challenge yourself to be uncomfortable. Cut the strings. Stretch your soul.
Take the lasso of your comfort zone and toss it around the horizon of your fear. Pull it toward you. Get your fear behind you, where it can push you further, rather than ahead of you where it will hold you back. Nobody else can do this for you. This is your responsibility alone. Don’t wait. No risk, no adventure.
Give thanks to the comfort and the safety. Be filled to overflowing with gratitude for having been provided a space for licking your wounds. But then say c’est la vie to the safety net, lest it become a trap.
4.) Be bloody-minded:
“I dream of a language whose words, like fists, would fracture jaws.” ~Emil Cioran
Be determined. Be dauntless. Be heroic. In a world hung up on being passive be explosive. Test all boundaries. Trigger the easily triggered. Beleaguer the bystanders. Disturb the comfortable. Ruffle all overly serious feathers. Paint loud and bright colors over black and white thinking. Grab the world by the throat. Shake it out of its commonplace inertia.
As F. Paul Pacult said, “Life is at its best when it is shaken and stirred.”
Choose improvisation over tradition. Zig while everyone is zagging. Be anomalous. Be unconventional. Put the “center” into eccentric. In a world pretending to be asleep, be a blaring alarm clock. Count coup on the gods.
As Shakespeare said, “You are an alchemist; make gold of that.” Make pearls out of your grit. Transform demons into diamonds. Forge sharpness out of your dullness. Grow sacred wounds out of your pain.
Stay curious and impervious. Always sacrifice rigid ideals to flexible ideas. Crucify certainty. Entertain a thought without accepting it. Always keep the Truth Quest ahead of the “truth.”
As Dr. Richard Bartlett said, “You are a swirling vortex of limitless potential who is here to shake things up and create something new that the universe has never seen.”
5.) Laugh and be laughable:
“Be equally laughable and able to laugh.” ~ Michel de Montaigne
Above all, cultivate a supreme sense of humor. In the face of overt seriousness have the audacity to laugh. Laugh at religion. Laugh at politics. Laugh at wokeness. Laugh at all the overly sensitive snowflakes walking on eggshells. Their pettiness is your fodder.
Self-deprecate. Have the courage to shoot yourself in the foot. The will to humor is the only thing more powerful than the will to power. Use it to get power over power. Use it to transcend. Use it as a tool for nonattachment. Use it to catapult you into the Overview Effect, where you will see the big picture despite all the small picture perspectives mucking it all up.
Use your powerful sense of humor to keep you ahead of the curve. Use it to shed the skin of cultural conditioning. Use it to empower you past all the status quo junkies addicted to societal norms.
As R.A. Lafferty said, “The law of levity is allowed to supersede the law of gravity.”
So don’t be afraid to be laughable as well. Become a magnetic force of levity that sucks up all seriousness like a blackhole sucks up light. Mock the gods. Challenge authority. Leverage holy shrines into monkeyshines.
Let your laughter be a mighty howl in an otherwise dwarfing cosmos. Your defeats won’t last, but neither will your victories. Celebrate your successes. Learn from your failures. But then let it all go with a laughter of the most high. Remember: the journey is the thing.
As the immortal Alan Watts suggested, “Life is a matter of oscillation. Life is vibration. The question is: how are you going to interpret that? Is it tremble, tremble, tremble; or is it laugh, laugh, laugh?”
About the Author:
Gary Z McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide-awake view of the modern world.
This article (5 Empowering Ways to Live More Dangerously) was originally created and published by Self-inflicted Philosophy and is printed here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Gary Z McGee and self-inflictedphilosophy.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this statement of copyright.