Posts tagged ‘John Burroughs’

January 1, 2017

Leap into 2017

Happy New Year everyone!

I offer the following quote in honour of my brother, who is making a major career change in 2017. Thirty-something and newly married, my bro is leaving the world salaried work to strike out on his own. It’s a path that he’s been talking about for years, and in 2017 he’s finally going for it — obstacles and unknowns be damned. My brother says that the following words from American naturalist John Burroughs helped ease his anxieties as he made his decision:

Leap, and the net will appear.

That is: Only when you take that first step off solid ground and launch yourself in the direction of your dreams will the ideas, solutions and options that you need — but could never see from the comfort and safety of your old position — reveal themselves. Plan you leap as much as you can, then go for it. The answers will appear over the course of your journey.

This year, I encourage you to take some leaps of your own. Do something that scares you but has been calling to you for a long time. Listen to your heart and act on it, even if you don’t know what the end result will be. Trust — trust yourself and your abilities enough to simply go for it.

Your net is out there, but it can’t catch you unless you leap.

Happy 2017!

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October 1, 2012

October challenge: Do one thing that scares you

I am fond of saying,

It’s often the things that scare us most that matter most.

Whether it’s starting a new relationship or leaving an old one, changing your job or exploring a completely new career path, speaking what is truly on your mind to the people who need to hear it most, or simply taking that one small step outside your comfort zone, we as humans fear change, and that fear often stops us from growing in ways that would (in hindsight) absolutely astound us.

This fear is a stealthy protection mechanism, designed to shield us from hurt, pain, vulnerability, rejection, failure, etc.  But it’s heavy, this fear, and the longer we sit under it, the more crushing it becomes.

I’ve learned, over time, that the anxieties associated with doing something important — apprehensive questions such as “Can I handle it?” “Will I survive financially?” “Will my friends still like me afterwards?” “What if I fail?” — and my own imagined answers — are usually much worse than the act of doing the thing itself.  Better yet, acting on a long-held but often-dismissed dream or desire leaves me feeling lighter, lifted, energized and more empowered about my life direction than ever before.

And so I challenge you, in October, to do one thing that truly scares you.  Small or large, you decide, but swallow your fear and step forward.

As the naturalist John Burroughs said,

Leap, and the net will appear.