"So, parachute optional? Well, I suppose it depends on what you're going to be doing? Obviously if you're going to launch yourself from a plane or cliff edge, it would appear a smart choice! Undoubtedly a life saving one!

What of the jump itself? Ok, I, being an 'alpha male' get the thrill seeking idea - I've rock climbed, parasailed and done disturbing things on motorcycles and they were a blast, but I must admit I've never thrown myself off a precipice! Most people who do willingly throw themselves 'over the edge' do so in the context of a well planned expedition, with support and securely harnessed into a well prepared and fully functioning chute!

But, that's not the only option for thrill seeking is it? People want a buzz, want to 'feel something', want an adrenaline rush, yet not always in the manner we just read about. Let's use the metaphor of alcohol and other drugs as a 'poor man's base jump'... not even close the real thing, but an easy access option. Some people think you can take this 'jump' safely by having a 'metaphorical parachute' - you know the so called 'safety chute' made up of sober friends, plenty of hydration, not taking too much of 'whatever' etc... and Ok, I'm not saying if you going to go close to the edge or even jump you shouldn't look at some damage minimising options... but why do damage at all?

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You see, sometimes we think harm minimisation is 'clever', while it might be better than stupid, it aint clever! Clever to me is not sustaining any harm at all. Now we all know - everybody knows - that alcohol and other drugs will do you damage, so the clever thing is to put it down, or best thing ever is not take it up at all!

Ok, back to our 'base jump' exercise.... People keep pumping the hype of 'get busy livin!' But what does that even mean? When we're disconnected from any sense of sustainable meaning, significance and hope, then what do we mean by living? Is it just trying to get every 'buzz' and 'pop', regardless of the source? Well sadly, that's the pitch in the vacuum of meaninglessness and we all know that NEVER ends well. Some people trying to manage this dysfunctional space chant the mantra of 'who cares!' and in so doing simply trumpeting the coordinates of their location - a dead end! The 'I don't know what the hell to do next' space can be a real set up for anyone who hasn't been taught to at least think logically and rationally.

The loudest voice in this space is 'whatever' and sadly that becomes the mode and 'living' is now little more than 'existing', with attempts to alleviate the boredom, pain or aimlessness that a lack of real context can bring. But in all this you still have choice, but you just have to start looking outside the ever shrinking box that the pop-culture keeps pushing you into.

The best-selling author of '7 habits of highly effective people', Steven Covey, rightly stated... "In between stimulation and response, is the greatest power we have - the power to choose!" What, but more importantly how and why you choose is the real key!

Life can get messy, scary and just plain boring... but where and why we jump needs to be carefully considered, and never ever without a fully serviced and able parachute -a parachute constructed of clear hope, real meaning and genuine caring relationships... So, have you got yours?"

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