We’re creatures of habit. When we’re afraid to try something new and step outside our comfort zone, reality is never as bad as our imagination. And yet, taking that scary leap is the only way to unlock life’s great treasures.
Look, this is not some inspirational BS I just dreamed up. I’ve seen it over and over throughout my life. I’m not sure if knowing that makes it easier for anyone else to face your fears and go for it, but it works for me.
When my folks took us to the country one summer and dumped me in a camp full of strange kids, I was terrified. I remember having a giant lump in my throat and struggling to keep from crying.
Then the baseball league started. I pitched great. I hit homers. My team won. I was the hero. I met a really cute girl. I never wanted to leave.
Growing up is like that. Comfortable things always start out feeling safe. Then they become routine. Finally, they’re just boring. New things are always terrifying at first. But before you know it, they’re exciting. And sometimes, the outcome is awesome, as it was for me at camp.
Being a grown up is the same way. Sometimes you have to force yourself to challenge your own status quo, but that’s inevitably where the biggest rewards are. And you know the drill: No risk, no reward. That goes for everything in life, including your business and your career.
The only potential downside is it creates stress. Is it worth it? That’s something you’re going to have to figure out for yourself. But I’m sitting here trying to think of an experience that wasn’t, and I can’t come up with one. The result wasn’t always optimum, but I’ve never regretted trying. That’s probably why I’ve always felt like, if I died today, I’d die happy. No regrets.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s something to be said for knowing yourself and your limitations. I’m not a great swimmer, so you probably won’t find me too far from shore at the beach. I’m also not ecstatic about open air heights. I doubt if I’ll ever skydive and I know I won’t be scaling the face of Half Dome in Yosemite anytime soon.
That said, I like an adrenaline rush as much as the next guy, and I have plenty of ways of getting my ya-ya’s out that don’t include risking my life, at least not that way. I get a huge rush out of dropping big trees with my trusty old chainsaw. And I’ve been known to try some pretty steep double black diamond ski runs in deep powder, although it has been a while.
Mostly, I enjoy trying to accomplish new things related to my home, property and business where the payoff is tangible and the rewards are well, rewarding. Just call me Pippin. But that’s just me. Your experience may vary, objects in mirror are closer than they appear, yada yada. Just be smart, know the risks, and if it feels right, go for it. After all, that’s what life is all about.