Monday, February 28, 2011


I am afraid of snakes.

I am afraid of large bodies of water.

I am afraid of things in large bodies of water. Especially fish or other large things in the body of water - like ships.

What I am NOT afraid of, is making mistakes.

I am quite happy to **ck up once in a while. Ok, more than once in a while.

I figure: "So what?" I got smarts, I got know-how, I got the ability to pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again. I don't know all the answers but I'm willing to ask the questions and to never quit learning.

Do you know what kinds of people have made the most mistakes? The most successful ones. I learned this lesson first in a way that was real to me, from reading the autobiography of Richard Branson, Losing My Virginity. The man lived on the edge. He was willing to lose everything to gain something significant. He compromised on details but never on his dreams or his vision.

In this cultural environment of austerity and sacrifice, I fear that we are losing the gumption, the BALLS, to strive for more in our life.

Many of us have lost real and important things - jobs and houses being the most obvious - with real and sad consequences. But I worry that our generation has lost a lot more than that: the drive to push boundaries, to do great things, and the tolerance for risk to make it happen.

I hope not but I worry. Because I, for one, would rather go down in a ball of flames, having explored every nook and cranny of my life and my world, than live life at a slow burn, forever afraid to stoke the fire.

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