When you read about Dean Potter, the famous extreme-sports enthusiast who died last weekend trying to fly in a wingsuit (which is exactly what it sounds like), you realize a guy like that was kind of bound to go too soon.
And while that might sound callous and wrong, the tduth is, even his friends agreed:
We're very sad about Dean Potter's death, but not very surprised,” fellow climber, Doug Robinson, told the BBC. “He was pushing the envelope all his life.
People like Dean live life in extremes, mostly because they just don’t know it any other way.
Their lives have no boundaries. There’s no middle ground. They’re either all in, or they’re completely out.
It’s the idea of being an “all or nothing” person. You see things in black and white, without much appreciation for the gray area.
And while this does make a person extremely sharp, with heightened senses such that he or she is more focused on the present, this quality can also be a person’s biggest downfall -- for living life on one extreme end of the spectrum or the other means you’re constantly burning yourself out.
It’s almost like an undiagnosed disorder; although you aren’t a disruption to society, you are a disruption to yourself.
You’re either so high, so on that every fiber of your being feels alive and pulsing, or you’re so low and so down that you can’t help but spiral even further.
And even in your relationships, this behavior is reflected, unless you are fortunate enough to find someone who helps stabilize you.
You love, or you hate. You fight terribly, or you get along like blood. There’s no compromise; it’s either you give that day, or you take it.
And this kind of mindset is pervasive in almost all areas of your life.
Diets, shopping, work, exercise, travel -- you believe it’s better to do it the absolute right way, 100 percent of the time, or you won’t bother to try at all.
Being the type of person who lives life in extremes can be highly rewarding and fulfilling, but as is the nature of the beast, it can also be your worst enemy.
Here are the struggles of being an “all or nothing” individual:
1. You feel things very deeply
You let the world get to you too easily. You absorb your surroundings like a wet sponge, soaking up everything there is to offer.
You’re an extremely emotional being, to the point where you might have the tendency to overanalyze things.
You let your intense feelings consume you -- good or bad -- and it dictates your entire disposition for the day.
2. You don’t do anything small
You’re a dramatic person at heart, which means you experience things in a big way. It can be beautiful to watch, but at the same time, absolutely terrible for your soul.
You’re constantly blowing things out of proportion -- that wears on a person. And yet, just like with any investment, you take greater risks because you seek greater rewards.
3. There are no limits to your emotions; they aren’t capped
You’re so f*cking alive and yet so fragile that you can go just as low. You can build yourself up and tear yourself down to epic proportions, which can make it hard for other people to comfort you.
You’re so addicted to the highs and lows that even if you could moderate your feelings, you wouldn’t be satisfied.
The slightest problem can unnerve you or set you off just as quickly as the smallest gratification can send you soaring.
4. People either expect great things from you or for you to be broke on the street tomorrow
Nobody thinks you’re a real person, so you turn into a character of yourself.
You feel pressured to live up to these great expectations people have for you, but you also put so much pressure on yourself (by the very virtue of being an extreme person) that you can also be your biggest adversary. It’s hard to find a balance.
5. It’s hard to trust yourself
You have a hard time telling the difference between acting out and staying true to your emotions.
And while you’re incredibly focused in the moment, sometimes this extreme awareness can cloud your head.
You become too immersed and are unable to see past what’s in front of you. It’s difficult disseminating what is your reality versus what is actual reality.
6. You’re scared of living a stagnant life
It’s like the famous “American Beauty” quote: “I would rather die than be average.” You don’t let your fears bring you down.
Instead, they propel you through life and are your driving motivations. But these fears can also lead you to trouble.
You’re constantly pushing your limits and testing the dangerous waters because your biggest fear of all is boredom.
7. When you’re good, you’re good; when you’re bad, you’re bad
There’s no halfway when it comes to anything in your life. You’re either going out or your hibernating.
Euphoric or miserable. Spending or buckling up. You don’t have just “days.”
8. You’re constantly burning yourself out
You feel the need to cleanse more often than not because it’s hard to get through all these emotional cycles.
You don’t just ride the wave; you go with the tides -- and this constant up-and-down eventually exhausts you.
It's important to find sources of peace and not let others feed into this extreme nature. You need someone who can ground you but also let you fly when you're ready.