“When you lean in, your risk being hit.”
Image from Unsplash by Nicholas Green
In how many areas of your life do you sit on the sidelines as a spectator?
Where in your personal or professional communities are you playing it safe, avoiding the bumps and bruises of the players on the field?
Whether it is in your career, a competitive sporting event, or even in a significant relationship, leaning in has its risks.
What potential rewards will never be realized if you are always keeping your distance?
Where is it time to lean into something of great importance or urgency?
How can you best prepare yourself for the possible hits you may receive in your efforts to reach some worthy objective?
“Why risk a lot to gain a little?”
Image from Unsplash by Alexandria Gilliott
Since 1966, seat belts have been standard equipment in American vehicles. By 1975, most first-world countries also had seat belt requirements.
I can clearly remember getting my driver’s license in 1973—there was never a question of me buckling up for safety. I also recall considerable push back by some people, refusing to wear them because it infringed on their personal freedom or might wrinkle their clothes.
Some people would even buckle them behind their backs so that the car would start.
Where do your or others risk a lot to gain a little?
Where do you or others not even see these risks until it is too late?
“There is no reason to risk what you have and need for what you don’t have and don’t need.”
Image from Unsplash by Gabriel Meinert
This quote made me think of a recent passage I read on greed, by Mark Nepo. A few of his nuggets include:
“The wanting to experience more than one person can…”
“We race through life with one eye on what we have and one eye on what we don’t.”
“Greed is not restricted to money. It can work its appetite on things such as love, success, and travel.”
Where are you currently risking what you have and need for what you don’t have and don’t need?
Where is enough more than enough to fully appreciate the richness in your life?
“Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.”
Image from Unsplash by Marty Southwell
Imagine your life if you were a baby bird. Once you emerge from your shell, you begin taking in the outer world. In the beginning, all seems pretty safe and calm within the nest. Mom and Dad bring tasty bugs and critters to eat, and perhaps you have to fight a few siblings to get your share.
With all this food, you and your family grow, and the nest that was once safe and cozy gets a bit crowded. It is time for Mom and Dad to become empty-nesters!
Where and when have you had baby bird moments in your life? Explore the numerous times you needed to jump and unfold your wings as you began to fall, then soared to higher heights.
What personal or professional growth opportunities are calling you? When will you take the leap so that your life can continue to unfold?
“Watch the turtle. He only moves forward by sticking his neck out.”
—Lou Gerstner, former CEO of IBM
Image from Unsplash by Amauri Acosta Montiel
My daughter Rachel’s favorite animal is the turtle. She has many stuffed animals and other tchotchkes to prove it.
It happens that she has lived a life in which she has stuck her neck out many times to move forward on various personal and professional priorities. In college, she did door-to-door sales for an educational products company. She worked 80-85 hours a week, with plenty of rejections along the way. Nevertheless, she pulled in about $25k each summer, as opposed to the 12-week, minimum wage jobs some of her classmates took on.
To what degree are you playing it safe in your personal and professional worlds? What top priority issue is calling you to courageously stick your neck out even if you were to progress at a turtle’s pace?
“As children we are taught not to play with fire, not how to play with fire.”
—Steven Kotler, American Author, Journalist, and Entrepreneur
Image from Unsplash by Peter John Maridable
Looking back to childhood I remember two times when playing with fire got me in big trouble. The first time was when Mom caught me playing with matches. The second was when I decided it would be interesting to put my paper napkin into our lit Hanukkah candles.
The control and use of fire was a pivotal point in human evolution and cultural advancement. Providing heat and the ability to cook food are just two factors that permitted the expansion of human activity across our planet.
How and in what ways can we shift our thinking regarding the potential risky fires of life, and harness their power more fully?
How would doing so with our children inspire greater creativity, innovation, and achievements to better our world?
“Don’t just go with the flow, take some dares through the rapids.”
Image from Unsplash by Benjamin Davies
If your life were a movie or TV show, how likely is it that it would be a blockbuster everyone talks about?
Mine would probably not be a big hit with most people. When I ask people who know me best to describe me, some words that pop up often include: dependable, disciplined, reliable, steady, cooperative, honest, loyal, and friendly.
Being a “Steady Eddie” has served me well, and I consider myself very happy with my reasonable, predictable life.
On the other hand, there are many displays in my office of my favorite quote: “When patterns are broken, new worlds will emerge.” This thought constantly reminds me to keep checking in to see where I am committed to something bigger, better, or just different from “going with the flow.” It’s at these times I periodically jump into the fast-moving or riskier waters of life, and go for it. It’s interesting to note that a high percentage of these times are associated with some of my most memorable and significant accomplishments.
What is one important area of your life in which it is time to jump into the rapids and be a bit more daring?
“To dare is to lose your foothold for a moment. To not dare is to lose yourself.”
Image from Flickr by Perry Hall
In the famous song “My Way,” Frank Sinatra sang the line: “Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention.”
When we look at our own significant achievements or if we look at the accomplishments of others we admire, in virtually all cases risk and the willingness to dare to do things our way was involved.
Unfortunately, those who don’t dare the momentary loss of footing remain on what they perceive as solid ground. They risk loosing themselves, and live lives with far too many regrets.
Where and on what issues is it time to throw caution to the wind and dare to live more of the life of your dreams?
Feel free to reply to this post with the actions you plan to take.