Be Daring

A clean bench. Making room for yet unrealized projects.

To be daring. What does that really mean? This year I wanted to come up with a word that would define and steer my intentions for the upcoming year. I chose “daring” as a reminder to push myself to create new work that goes above and beyond my comfort zone, to take chances and try new experiences. I have been listening to the NPR podcast “How I Built This” and I am struck by the number of failures the most successful entrepreneurs have encountered. Without fail (pun intended), each entrepreneur has discussed their many botched ventures and setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow. Or as Ryan Holiday puts it:

“The obstacle is an advantage, not adversity. The enemy is any perception that prevents us from seeing this.” - Ryan Holiday

While I have learned the lesson of failure as positive, not negative, over and over again, it doesn’t make it any easier to practice this notion of risk and possible loss to work in my own life. I so often put my head down and work without stopping to ask why and what for. Those two questions: Why? What for? have recently plagued me. They both require one to stop, look around and ask; “What am I working towards?” and “What do I really want for my future?” The answers are rarely to continue doing what is known or comfortable, but rather to step off the well worn trail and head off into the bushes.

I hate making plans for the future. I am one of those people who will wait for the last minute to RSVP, but once I commit, I will be there. For that reason, I often over analyze any opportunity in order to reduce the assumed risk and ensure I’m making the “right decision.” I am paralyzed by the intermediary step of thought and deliberation. Waiting to act, waiting for everything to fall into place, waiting for the best possible option. But then again, how do you really know if anything is the right decision? Circumstances shift and people change their mind. What might have seemed to be a good choice in one light, can quickly change. It is this frustration that has led me to make my pronouncement. To be daring. To take chances. To act on thoughts I have dwelled on for over a year. To possibly set myself up for failure, but allow myself the grace and kindness to not place blame. You can never change direction it you aren’t moving. I aspire to move this year, to shift, to learn. Here is to a year of DARING!