A Daring Adventure
Just last month, together with my wife and friends, we went on a camping trip back to nature at Tanah Aina, Raub. One of the highlights was the hike to a waterfall. And at the waterfall area was a man-made platform at 15 feet above water level. The jump from the platform into the water is named the ‘Leap of Faith’.
It took over 20 minutes to hike through the forest and hill to the waterfall. It wasn’t too strenous but some effort was required nonetheless, and we finally arrived at the beautiful waterfall and the unmistakeable ‘Leap of Faith’. The first time I saw it I thought to myself “No way, I’m not gonna jump off that platform. I’m not that crazy!”
Without announcing a word, a local guide nonchalantly jumped off and landed safely in the waters and everyone cheered. I didn’t see it but I heard the big splash. Soon, a couple more people followed. After a short while, two of our friends went to queue up, and I heard them calling my name to join them. Then I was thinking, “I’ve already made up my mind to come all the way here to have fun and do something different, paid the money, did all the hiking through the forest…why not just jump once?” And I swam towards my friends below the ‘Leap of Faith’ platform.
One by one, we climbed the wooden stairs up to the platform to make the jump. Make no mistake, it was scary up there looking down at the waters (many hesitated for a long while, some never jumped and chickened out). When it was my turn, I just told myself not to stay up there too long. I’ve already decided. Don’t think. Just jump. And once I let myself go, it was truly exhilirating to let gravity take control. Letting go felt like freedom, it was so fun!
“A bit of advice
Given to a young Native American
At the time of his initiation:
As you go the way of life,
You will see a great chasm. Jump.
It is not as wide as you think.”
~ Joseph Campbell
How Did I Muster The Courage To Make That Jump
Reflecting back on that day, I guess I wouldn’t have jump if I did not have the following 3 things:
1) The local guide and a couple of people that jumped before me. Seeing that they jumped and landed safely into the waters gave me assurance that it was safe and they actually looked like they were enjoying every milisecond of it!
2) My friends who called my name. The first condition wasn’t enough until my friends (someone I know) urged me to make the jump with them. Perhaps it’s a group thing, a social thing. There is strength (courage) in tribes.
3) My choice. There was a girl who climbed up to the platform and upon looking down, she freaked out and froze there for a minute. All of us down there were cheering and shouting up in full support, “Come on, you can do it! 3….2….1….JUMP!” But she retreated and never jumped. At the end of the day, it all boils down to personal choice. My friends can cheer, give advice and all the encouragement that I need but it’s still MY DECISION to act. It’s just one giant step out, but nobody can take that step for me.
For me, once I made the decision down there, I told myself to stick with it up there. It’s a one-way journey, there’s no turning back.
The experience wasn’t as scary as I first thought. Did I say I jumped more than once? Soon after my first jump, I found myself climbing up again, and again. In total I jumped three times! I just loved reliving the experience of standing at the edge of my comfort and letting myself go.
Your Own ‘Leap Of Faith’
Although it was down to personal choice, I believe the first 2 conditions were very helpful to build my self-confidence at that point. So if you’re contemplating to take your personal ‘Leap of Faith’ in whatever endeavour, ask yourself these:
1) Is there any record or evidence that someone before me has done it? Maybe not exactly the same situation but something similar? Gather your evidences of possibilities.
2) Who can I enlist to support me? Who are my cheerleaders?
Sometimes you can’t have both or any of them, and that’s why it’s called the Leap of FAITH. It’s risky undoubtably, but what the heck, it’ll be fun!