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I viewed a clip that talked about the biggest regret people have as they near the end of life. The biggest regret was things not done. Chances not taken. Opportunities passed over.

When I think about the weeks, months and years that we sometimes lose due to work, worry or unthinkable trauma, I keep circling back to the idea that we have that one gift that is uniquely ours. That skill or ability that makes us different and fulfilled. And yet we pause in taking that idea, skill or talent to the world. The reason why we don’t isn’t the point.

It’s the reason we do. Live your life.

autumn leaves

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven …” Ecclesiastes 3

I don’t know about you but I am a summer person. Something about the sunlight, warmth, and energy of nature coming to full blossom. I just vibrate with life. The time of year just radiates movement and expansiveness.

So, when September creeps into the calendar, the weather is still warm and lush but there is a nip of cooler air in the morning, fog, and the subtle shift into decay. The garden vegetables are making their last stand. The trees bear signs of spent leaves. The hours of daylight diminish.

It’s like the end of a great party and the last guests make for the exits.

“Time And Tide Wait For No Man”

I have come to realize that holding on to a time, a place, or a relationship makes for painful living. All the personal resources invested in keeping something just as it was. That cherished moment is nothing more than a point in time. Yes, there are definite emotions wrapped around the instance that have made the event indelible.

But the inevitable happens. The glow of the moment fades with time. The recollection changes. It might soften. Details omitted or new interpretations installed.

In business, you can’t rest on your laurels. You have to constantly be aware of trends or something new in the market place and how this affects your company. Or ever better, be the agent of some radically new product or service. Some brilliant companies like Polaroid and Borders didn’t notice that their season had passed.

In the world of sports, the aging star athlete loses a match. A season has passed.

Relentless Change

The cycle of change always makes a path for rebirth. A next time. A new idea. Whether we like being on the wheel of change is not the point. It’s what you do to make change your friend. Your accomplice. Your partner.

Working with change creates opportunity and openness for possibility. Sure, visit the past but don’t set up camp in the land of has been. There is so much more waiting.

There are four seasons. Each has wonderful aspects – and a purpose under heaven.

Have you embraced change? Where in your life have you been trying to live a single season? What is it about the time, person, or thing that makes you cling to the past? How has it served you?

09baseball4

I hate doubt. It ruins a perfectly planned post, party or project. And you never know when doubt will unleash a good attack of fear. How many great ideas vanish in the face of doubt!

So why, when doubt appears to bring nothing constructive to life, does it have the power and punch to stop you in your tracks?

Doubt May Bring Something to Consider

You know those people … the ones who say it will never work and proceed to tell you why from their personal experience. The ones who know how ridiculous your idea is. The people who have a lot to say in judgement.

Here’s a secret: It’s a protection game.

You might fail. And for some people, that is just like death, to be avoided at all costs. They don’t want you to fail. Or get hurt. Or look foolish. In their eyes. Believe me when I say those people are trying to watch out for you. Keep you safe.

The protection campaign can start early in life . Parents who didn’t encourage you to try new foods, engage in different sports, or create your own style.

Somehow, the world is perceived as a dangerous place. And your role and activity in that world should be kept to safe bets. Places where you don’t shine but you also don’t fail.  You don’t stand out and be recognized and neither do you present your ability.

It’s living small … and safe. It’s a marginalized life at best. Remember, if you don’t attempt anything, you don’t fail.

How to Handle Doubt Creatively

You will probably experience doubt at some point this week. In a good way. It’s a double-check to show that you have done your homework. The look before you leap. It makes sense to examine that doubt in a creative way to support your attempt and not hinder it. It is a way to make something even better than originally intended.

This doubt enhances the experience because you have noticed it (the doubt) and have given it an opportunity to tell you something. Not stop you. The doubt is there to impart a little self-protection but also to challenge to a higher level. Used creatively, doubt can amp up your passion to perform flawlessly. The self challenge of “Can I do this” brings performance to a new level.

Doubt can drive you to perfection.

Why Failure Is Essential

So, while you are living life, there are bound to be moments of failure or disappointment. You don’t hit every ball out of the park. But you show up at the plate.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes:

“During my 18 years I came to bat almost 10,000 times. I struck out about 1,700 times and walked maybe 1,800 times. You figure a ballplayer will average about 500 at bats a season. That means I played seven years without ever hitting the ball.”
Mickey Mantle

I started the day listening to an interview by Michael Bungay Stainer with Danielle LaPorte . Stepping into what scares you the most and not avoiding it brings out the creative elements in all of us. But how often do we realize that we are not being true to our creative selves yet we don’t do anything about it.We persist in a life that doesn’t meet our expectations. We settle. We adapt. We dry up.

We don’t DO because of fear.

Grappling with fear is human. We all do it in some fashion. But there comes a time when being timid in life creates fear that strangles you as an individual. Your creative juices evaporate. You are boxed in. You are a shadow of  yourself. It’s as if fear is ever present, just lurking around the corner. Ready to pounce. “Waiting for the other shoe to drop” as we called it in my family.

So what can you do?

Listening to the interview, the simple idea is embrace your fear and you will learn something very valuable .. about you. Armed with this knowledge, you can move on.

While it sounds counter intuitive, taking on your fear and totally checking it out does two things: the fear is no longer “larger than life” and now you have information to create something new and different in your life. When you are more resourceful, your experience offers choices for who you are (really and not the faux you) and how you want to be and feel. Accepting the fear creates a space for growth.

I had already started practicing consciously making choices. What do I chose to read? What do I eat? Who challenges me think? Where do I feel safe? I am examining small events in my life to experience choice. Life’s auto pilot has been switched off.

When you are actively engaged in living life and fear leaps out, catch it. How is this fear serving you?

It doesn’t matter when you decide to embrace fear and make life choices. It’s not about age, status, or when the masses say it’s time. It’s when you are ready to know yourself deeply and lovingly.

Grab a fear today and dance with it. What does it have to share with you?

Catch you later.

 

 

 

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