For my summer reading assignment in preparation for AP English in 12th grade I have to read Frankenstein. It's an enjoyable book that tells a tale of adventure and mistake. I'm grateful that I have such creative teachers that tell me to read a text like this. But, through this experience I've noticed something in this piece of literature. Dr. Frankenstein relays his tale to Captain Walton, a sailor dreaming of finding the North Pole, in relaying his tale the Dr. wishes to forewarn the Captain that dreams of controlling nature will ultimately lead to failure and even death. As we all are familiar with the story of Frankenstein we know how the Dr. tried to control nature. By trying to reanimate dead tissue into a living, breathing being which ultimately lead to The Monster. Frankenstein's tale is one of discovery, similar to what Captain Walton wishes to accomplish. But, different also. The Captain wishes to control nature in his own way. By finding the North Pole Walton hopes to put the unexplored mystery of his world into a "box," to find the wild place and be able to quantify it, to win his well-deserved glory. 

However, if you look you will find that this hope in the Captain is not healthy. As shown by Dr. Frakenstein's magnificently horrible exploits that ultimately led to his own destruction, controlling nature is not possible. We simply cannot control something that we are simultaneously apart of and at the mercy of.  

Because, of the immense grandeur that is nature itself...doubt is infinitesimal. It is insignificant and while that may sound like a broad statement it is not. I am not saying that faced with nature's immensity our emotions, anxieties, and thoughts are made moot. They are most definitely not and should never be. What I am saying is that, as trailrunners, as vegans, as meditators, as people who inhabit this beautiful planet, nature rules us. Therefore, because of that, respect is a priority. 

As trailrunners we are faced everyday with the inevitability of suffering. We know that it's going to hurt. And specifically at a race we become nervous and feel that doubt. As vegans we are respecting our bodies and our Earth with our lifestyle, but we face doubt when we lose control of our inhibitions and maybe eat or do something we regret. As meditators we face doubt when we can't enter that tranquil time of peace. As people we face doubt everyday. 

The point I am trying to assert with my Frakenstein analogy is simply this: Nature is all powerful and all we can do is sit in for the ride. All we can do is do our best in the moment to strive for our better. Doubt brings failure. Doubt is not a path to change. Confidence and assurance with an equal dose of preparation and experience brings lasting, positive change.  

Just like good and evil, life has pairings. And doubt is one of them. So we will never escape our own doubt. But, we can alleviate it and work with it. It never works to ignore our doubt, because what we're doubtful about are our insecurities, ill-preparations, and self-consciousness. Doubt reveals what we can make better, but it also debilitates us. What we need to do is balance it.

We all need to recognize our doubt and then work hard to fix what we are doubtful about. To find the insecurity and then conquer it with perseverance. Now like I said we will always have doubt, but it is beneficial. And if you can recognize that and not become frozen with your doubt, then you can succeed. 

For example, in testing at school if you go into the test doubtful of success and nervous about what's to come then you will fail. Our mind is powerful and will bring to fruition what we are thinking, good or bad. But, if you recognize the doubt beforehand and study what you are doubting, if you change your mindset and hence actively prepare, the test will go smoothly and you have a much higher chance of achieving the score you desire. 

So simply remember to acknowledge doubt and its consequences and benefits. Work hard to train the mind to learn from doubt and then use that for your successes. It's all about awareness and preparation. Use it! 


Doubt brings failure if you can't control it.  



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