The Art of Jumping

Posted Saturday, September 08, 2012

Typical coaching question: If you could know that you wouldn't fail, what would you do with your life?

OK—got it? Know your answer? Now what?

Here's the problem with this question, you can't know you won't fail—in fact failure is part of the plan. Failure is how you learn. 

The paralyzed are still paralyzed. It may be helpful for us to come up with the thing we want to do for the world. But that's where the question stops serving us. 

She wants to know. She doesn't want to fail. She decides.  "I'll come up with a plan. A fail-safe plan."

Fail safe plans don't exist. You can't learn to fly on the ground. 

So here is my step-by-step plan for you to do what it is that you want to do with your life.

Step 1: JUMP

Step 2: See Step 1

Jump into the deep end. You can learn to swim next to the shore but you will never be confident until you try out the deep end.

So…you don't know how to do it. Good. 
So…you're not sure what you are meant to do .Good.
So…you don't know if life will be better in the new place. Good.

Good. On all counts. You'll find out. It's really the only way to find out.

Steven Pressfield in the book Do The Work says that there are three forces arrayed agains us in our endeavor to do that thing we are meant to do. 

Resistance (fear, self-doubt, procrastination, addiction, distraction, timidity, ego and narcissism, self-loathing, perfectionism, etc.)
Rational thought
Friends and family

This is why we must ship. This is why we must write. This is why we must jump. The biggest and most insidious force is resistance. This is also why we must stop reading books about how to do it. We must stop having conversations with people about what we need to do. Just stop. 

Jump. Experience the parts of what you are doing that succeed. Experience the failures. You must jump.

As your last act of defiance, you are looking at this blog for an answer: Ken, what do you mean by jumping? Here are a few ideas. Do one. Please, I'm begging you.

  • Do something that will cost you something that is dear to you. (Money, time, relationship, freedom, comfort, etc.)
  • Publish something that others will read and will be open to judgement.
  • Give notice.
  • Buy the plane tickets.
  • Make the phone call that you know you need to make.
  • Tell the world the truth about what you are doing next.
To be clear, buying a laptop to write your great american novel is not "jumping." Taking a 3-month sabbatical to work on it is.

To be clear, telling your closest friend that you have a new website is not jumping. Telling a list of the top 10 people you respect would be.

To be clear, deciding to quit a year from now is not jumping. Moving out of your home and into your best friends basement so you can quit a year from now is.

Ready. Set. Jump.

Check out our last 6 eNewsletters:

November 4, 2016--Crossing the Continental Divide (Both Literally and Metaphorically)

May 13, 2016-Are You Embracing Your Goo?

April 6, 2016--Micromanagement is Good Management

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