Innovation · Leadership

Swimming in the deep end

I want to live a life of purpose. I hope to see the world changed for the better. I want to innovate. I’d like to make a real and lasting difference.

So here’s my plan…

I’ll lay low. I’ll take little or no risk. I’m going to please everyone and try to get them to like me. When given a choice, I’ll take the path of least resistance. I’ll say things like “failure is not an option” and mean it. I’ll spend most of my time pointing out what others are doing wrong.

“But that’s a terrible plan” you say.

It is and it seems glaringly obvious. But it is, in fact, what so many of us (and the organizations we are part of) have chosen as our strategy, despite our statements to the contrary.

I wish there were an easier, softer way. Spoiler alert: there isn’t.

The work that matters gets done when we let go of our people-pleasing default mechanism.

The work that matters gets done when we accept that–as Seth reminds us–“if failure is not an option, then neither is success.”

The work that matters gets done by working out in public, by sitting right down in front where everyone can see us, by being in the arena, instead of the stands.

The work that matters happens when we show up, over and over again, as our most authentic selves.

The work that matters is set in motion when we have the courage to make a conscious and intentional choice to leave the shallow end for something deeper. To take the plunge. And to start swimming.

deep-end-of-the-pool

h/t to Brene Brown for the virtually constant inspiration.

 

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