When I was kid, my father created a door metaphor that he was quite proud of to inspire me to do well in school.
“The harder you work,” he always told me, “the more doors in life will be open to you. When you slack off, doors slam shut faster than you’d believe.“
It may sound like an odd way to motivate your child, and upon reflection most locks do have a key out there somewhere, but it worked.
Whenever I was reading a non-school book or watching the Disney Channel when I was supposed to be doing homework, I would imagine a thick, circular, iron bank vault door slamming shut and locking away my future as the dial on the lock spun round and round. But when I studied or got a good grade, I envisioned ornate golden doors or big pearly gates swinging wide open and casting a warm, inviting light.
To me, doors have always represented possibilities. I associate them with the potential of success from hard work or a mystery to be solved. Even though it often annoys my friends, I always make it a point stop and take notice of interesting looking ones. What is the story behind that door? When was it made? Who has walked through it, and why? Did they walk back out having accomplished what they had hoped? Did they find their success or solve their mystery?
Particularly with newly discovered doors, not knowing where or to whom it will lead is terrifying and exciting. Opening that door may be the biggest mistake of your life or the best decision you’ll ever make. Either way, it’ll be an experience!
Why would anyone not want to be an opener of doors? You open doors for yourself every single day. When you learn a new skill, choose to talk to that stranger, go on that trip, take a bold risk… you are opening a door to a possibility. It may not always work out, but you almost always wind up somewhere unexpected. That is called living. I have always found 1 thing to stand true:
I regret 100% of the doors that I was too afraid to open.
I will continue to open doors for as long as I live. If there is no “Keep Out” sign anywhere… forgiveness or permission, right?
On every trip, in every city, no matter what I am doing, my eye always catches unique or particularly beautiful or mysterious doors. Here are some of my favorites.