Bring On The Bliss!
My friend had a bad day at work today. Her car broke down on the way home. Now she’s just realised she forgot the one thing that she walked to the shops to buy. Basically she’s a bit fed up with everything.
“Sometimes I wish I didn’t know that cheesecake and alcohol are bad for me,” she declares, fuming. “Sometimes I wish I’d never heard about the power of raw kale, interval training, meditation and Jack Canfield. I want chips drowned in cheese and mayonnaise! I want the biggest TV I can get my hands on! I want a subscription to OK! Magazine so I can read about other people’s cellulite issues and feel good about myself! I want to unplug my brain and embrace my inner physical and spiritual slob.”
And… wait a minute.
“Do you really?”
“Yes, because ignorance is bliss!”
Wow. What a statement. When people say that do they really believe it’s true?
Or do they mean in fact that ignorance is easy? I guess if you don’t know you can improve you don’t have to try… If you don’t know that people are lying to you, you don’t have to search for the truth. Sometimes knowing things… it can make you feel uncomfortable. But if you didn’t know, would you not be unaware of not knowing, and would it not prevent you from experiencing the ‘easiness’ that you seek? How much ignorance is required before you feel good? How much of a coma do you have to be in before you’re happy?
When people say ignorance is bliss do they mean in fact that life is hard? And if it is, who makes it hard? Is it hard all the time? Maybe there is good hard, like when you make it to the top of a tough climb on your bike, and bad hard, like when you lose someone you love. So then, when it’s bad how can you make it good?
Questions, questions… When you think about the magnitude of everything that you don’t know does it make your head spin?
I think the best part about ignorance is becoming aware of it. Because then you can choose. Will you decide to light it up and learn as much as you can? Or will you ignore it and carry on as you were?
Perhaps once you become aware, there is no way back to the way it was before, either. Once you take that red pill that’s it, you’re changed forever. Eyes open, it’s a different world. Once you know what is beyond the hard and the difficult, you’ll want a piece of it.
A colleague recently told me that she can’t drive on the motorway. I said, great, do you want to change that belief?
She looked horrified. She said, oh no, I can’t change. I don’t do motorways. Never have. I simply can’t do it.
Now, I was born in France, grew up there, and learned to drive on the right side of the road. Then I moved to England and simply switched sides. I can drive on the motorway, no problem! So if a French girl who learned to drive on the wrong side of the road can do it, why can’t my colleague?
Isn’t it funny what we choose to believe?
Ignorance is bliss…
When people say that do they mean in fact that it is safe?
Because with knowledge comes empowerment, responsibility, and risk taking. You don’t let yourself off the hook anymore. You have to find the scariest thing there is for you, and do it. You feel compelled. You have a duty now to live up to your full potential. It’s like this beating drum inside you that keeps saying, Now you can, Now you can… Get up and do it!
The consequence of trying might be that one day you succeed… Just ask Bradley Wiggins if it wasn’t worth it!
And there is something else. You know the fun bit about choice?
It’s that sometimes you can choose to give yourself a break too. Sometimes you can have those chips and cover them up in delicious, extra-strong, mature cheddar and dissolve in that bliss. The next day you’re up at five and in the gym, sipping your kale and ginger smoothie, dripping sweat onto your copy of the Success Principles. Smiling.
I guess that’s what it means to be human. You’re on the road of life. Sometimes you’re bad, sometimes you’re good, probably you’re both; but always, the choice is yours. Now that is bliss.