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Life shrinks and expands in proportion to ones courage - Essay Example

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Life shrinks and expands in proportion to one's courage," is one of the famous lines by the late Anais Nin. This statement obviously is not referring to the literal concrete manifestation of life, but instead, the experience of life by a certain individual…
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Life shrinks and expands in proportion to ones courage
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"Life shrinks and expands in proportion to ones courage"

Download file to see previous pages In a sense, you can say that life becomes bigger, emotions become stronger, and the world becomes more vibrant for a person who takes risks.
To fully understand this, it is helpful to view this in terms of comfort zones. Each individual has his own comfort zone and these comfort zones are defined by the experiences. A person that has had the more varied experiences in life will find that his comfort zone is significantly larger than others.
To illustrate, let us have the example of two students-one named Martina and the other named Marsha. Martina and Marsha essentially have the same personalities. Both are into chess, both are afraid of public speaking, and both have a crush on a boy named John. Martina is content with her life and does not feel that she has to go out of her comfort zone. It's always been that way anyway so she feels that she doesn't really need to bother changing. This is her life and she's quite happy with it.
Marsha, on the other hand, generally shares the same sentiment, but has been feeling quite uneasy for the past couple of days. She feels her life has become too small for her and she needs to get out. If you were to think of life as a circle, you could say that she was already spilling out of the edges and coloring outside the lines. She feels constricted and restrained by something that she does not understand.
While walking around in school, she spots a flyer saying that debate try-outs were in the following week. As she makes her way through the halls to her next class, flashbacks of all the times that she would clench her fists until they were white whenever she was in front of an audience start playing in her head. Suddenly, she has an epiphany. Maybe, by learning debate, she would get over her fear of public speaking.
Marsha has doubts-big looming doubts that would hang over her head for the next few days. The thought of humiliating herself in front of so many people made her feel as if she was about to throw up. But in the next few days, however, she realizes that she must take the chance and that she must find the courage in herself to do so.
In the end, she decides to take the leap. She tries out for the debate team and gets in their training pool. She trains for a couple of months despite most people's predictions that she wouldn't last for a week. Debate training is tough in their school and people really take the craft seriously. To her surprise, however, John, her long-time crush, also joins the training pool. After a months and months of training together, they become good friends-even playing an occasional game of chess during lunch break. Marsha, who was usually timid and shy, finds herself becoming more confident and outgoing. Aside from this, she was getting better in debate and had no fear of speaking in front of a big audience-except for the slight queasiness she would experience every now and then. More than this, she gained a friend in John.
Life has expanded for Marsha. She took the leap and now, the life has become bigger for her and the comfort zone has become bigger. Martina, in contrast, when spotting the same flyer just shrugged her shoulders and went on with her life. Today, she is still afraid of public speaking, still likes chess, and still has a crush on a boy named John. However, she doesn't really do anything about it. Marsha, on the other hand, took the risk of failure and, in the end, came out as a better individual.
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