“I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance. Never settle for the path of least resistance. Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’. Lovin’ might be a mistake, but it’s worth makin’. Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter. When you come close to sellin’ out, reconsider. Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance. And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.” –I Hope You Dance (Lee Ann Womack)
The theme amongst some of my family a couple weekends ago was: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” (a quote from Wayne Gretzky). We weren’t talking about scoring goals (or hockey even) – it just kept coming up. We were talking about applying for jobs, asking someone out on a date – putting yourself out there in some way. One person would say something, and the (obvious) response from everyone else would be that line. If you’re not familiar with this expression, here’s the gist of what it means: 1) If you don’t go after what you want, you likely won’t ever have it. 2) If you do not ask, the answer will always be no. 3) If you don’t step forward, you will remain in the same place.
Recently my friend Sarah and I had the pleasure of talking with Ted Jackson. (He’s a guy who ran 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days. His story is totally incredible and inspiring!) Sarah had told me about him a few months earlier, and we both thought it would be cool to interview him for ‘Why Not Me?’ (our web chat series). And then we sort of left it at that…an idea…or wishful thinking. However, a month or so later, in true ‘Why Not Me?’ spirit, I looked Ted up on Google, went to his website, and sent a request off to him (for an interview) through his contact form. I had no idea whether he would even respond, but I knew that if we didn’t ask, we didn’t have a chance. Lo and behold, he said yes!
“Life is all about taking risks to get what you want.” ~Adam Lambert~
One of the reasons Ted chose to do that running challenge is because his wife was diagnosed with MS. He ran those marathons in her honour and to raise money for an organization called Overcoming MS. I often think about the things that I do in my own life and my reasons for doing them or not. On the surface my reason for doing anything is because it seems like it will be fun or it just feels like something I want to do. On a deeper level, I think I am motivated to do things (even when I’m afraid) simply because I can. By that, I mean because I’m alive. I think about all the people I’ve known who were near and dear to me who have passed on. I think: ‘What would they want for me in this life?’ or ‘What would they want for themselves?’ ‘What would they be doing if they were here right now?’ My hunch is that they would not be wasting their time. My hunch is that they’d be going for it!
If you want to achieve your goals and get what you want, you need to take action! No one else can make things happen for you. You can find all the excuses in the world to not do something. You can look at other people and think that things happen for them because they are lucky or special or more deserving, and that gets you nowhere! (And they aren’t btw.) Or you can start looking for the reasons to do something. Or you can focus your efforts not on thinking about what to do, but on just doing. Do what feels right. Do what feels like fun. Do what feels a little scary. Step out of your comfort zone. Live and learn. Be audacious. Life will offer you many opportunities; be daring and take them.
“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.” ~Lewis Carroll~