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Opportunities are not threats

Photo by Nagy Arnold on Unsplash

I’m not sure what to do. It will change what the next year of my life will look like, likely longer.

Like a child reaching out to pet an animal for the first time I find myself assuming the worst. Even while the dog wags its tail and makes no threatening noises, I still coil myself, expecting the worst.

What if, like the dog who was dying for affection, my opportunity was eagerly waiting for me. What if the attitude I am approaching it with was wrong? What if the next thing you have to decide was a chance to not only meet your expectations but exceed them?

What if the next thing required you to step forward with confidence, and then it would work? This is not a belief that all opportunities are simple, or easy, but right and better than you could imagine.

What if we had more control and our approach influenced to some degree what happened next?

You’re supposed to approach a dog with an open hand and a kind voice. Cautious is good, but you have to reach out.

Opportunities are not threats. They’re chances that we take and sometimes pay off.

Don’t be afraid.

How does a long trip become short?

We live 30 minutes outside of Nashville but I avoid driving there as much as I can. The trip is too long and feels like an obstacle.

Every year we drive 16 hours to South Dakota to visit family and on our way north we drive through Nashville.

But on our South Dakota trip it never feels like an inconvenience to drive to Nashville. It’s almost forgettable compared to the longer journey.

Where else in life do things feel like they’re taking a long time but if we had the perspective that it was just a small part of a larger journey, it would be almost forgettable?

Perspective is a gift. Have a long perspective. It makes big obstacles small.

The new Star Wars movie is horrible (no spoilers)

That’s what many of the professional reviewers have said. Almost half actually.

The problem with those reviewers is that they didn’t have a 11 year old son who they wanted to see a fun movie with. I did. They didn’t have a day where they really needed an escape for a few hours. I did.

They aren’t you or me.

The days of someone telling you what movie is good our bad are over. I can make my own decision, thanks.

Where else in your life do you need to decide on your own what is good or bad?

The masses can be wrong, very wrong.

It was awesome by the way. Video proof below.

What you control

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

If all you did today was to focus on the things you can actually control you’d keep yourself busy.

It turns out focusing on things you can’t control is not only fruitless, but it can also make you miserable.

It’s your choice.

There are rules! (but not really)

Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

We sat in the school library waiting for the ceremony to start. 80 adults and 20 middle schoolers sitting in silence because we were in a library.

If we were in the gym we’d be talking to each other but we were in the library and in the library you don’t talk.

There are rules

The first reason we don’t speak up, write, make a video, or put our work into the world is we are afraid of being corrected.

The second reason we don’t speak up is there are rules. Rules like “no talking in the library”.

But that’s not always a rule.

Ignore the rules

Here’s a rule about rules and creating.

If the rule is holding you back, ignore it for a while.

You can go back and follow the rule later but for now, ignore it.

  • Don’t optimize your headline
  • Don’t optimize your SEO
  • Don’t worry about your word count
  • Don’t add a cute picture
  • Don’t create a lead magnet
  • Don’t install 12 recommended plugins

You will never get better until you start.

You will never be known until you put your work into the world.

You will never be satisfied until you know you’ve done something brave.

What rules do you need to ignore so that you can create? Here’s the secret. They’re not really rules. If they were then I’d be in jail. They’re made up. They’re helpful sometimes but there’s no police force for creators.

Ignore the rules you are using as excuses to not create.

Make something, now.


They are waiting for you

Photo by Valentin Wallet on Unsplash
  • There are people waiting to support what you haven’t been brave enough to put into the world. 
  • There are people waiting to applaud your song, with an unfinished chorus. 
  • There are people waiting to subscribe to your YouTube videos that you won’t make because you think your camera isn’t good enough.
  • There are husbands waiting to have a much needed conversation with their wife that they want to work to improve their marriage after they read your post about your marriage struggles. 
  • There are children waiting to spend more time with their dad because of your encouragement to start coaching their team.
  • There are wives waiting to hear about their husband’s struggle with self-worth and confidence because you gave the husband the words to express himself. 
  • There are people waiting to enjoy their job because they started to see their work as valuable even though they aren’t self-employed.
  • There are people who bought yet another online course promising riches waiting for your reminder that it takes time, and failure, and testing, and refining, and then some more time before success arrives. And sometimes it never comes. 
  • There are people who bought the Full Focus Planner waiting for you to tell them you have to just start using the damn thing if you ever want to figure out how to get the most out of it. 
  • There are people who want to simplify their life waiting for you to tell them which app to use, and which iPhone shortcuts you know about that they don’t. 
  • There are people waiting to start something who need your example of imperfection to remind them “If that guy can do it I can do it.”
  • There are people tired of trying tactics waiting to read words that are vulnerable and honest that remind them without meaning and purpose tactics are empty motions that lead us to more emptiness.
  • There are people who are waiting to hear you say, “I don’t know what is coming but I know I can’t get there unless I move forward.”

That was my list, now write yours. 

There are people waiting for you to do something.