Go Jump in the Lake!

Photo credit; Glenda Marie Chaulk

Above is a picture of the polar bear dip in Gander, NL.  Yes..some fools decide, for some strange reason, to jump into Gander Lake in February.  And my first thought was, "I want to do that!"

Yes.  I'm one of those fools.  

No I haven't done it.  Yet.

But here is the reason why I would.  

Because, in every instance, where I have found myself in the place of my greatest joy, it was preceded without fail by my place of greatest discomfort.

In order to publish a novel, I first had to put aside a lot of previous priorities, like housework, and just do it.  In order to publish the book I had to go through the very uncomfortable process of submitting it and having my work rejected.  In order to build my business I have to do things that I'm unused to doing.  But invariably, doing so, has led to success.

Hopefully it's just discomfort that you must experience.  But sometimes the process of change, of improvement, of growth is quite painful.

Remember the book The Thorn Birds? The very famous quote goes "There's a story... a legend, about a bird that sings just once in its life. From the moment it leaves its nest, it searches for a thorn tree... and never rests until it's found one. And then it sings... more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. And singing, it impales itself on the longest, sharpest thorn. But, as it dies, it rises above its own agony, to out sing the lark and the nightingale. The thorn bird pays its life for just one song, but the whole world stills to listen, and God in his heaven smiles. For the best is bought, only at the price of great pain."

I've always loved that quote. I guess it's always been my goal to not settle for average and to live a life that stands out in some way among lives. Not because I believe I am or deserve better, but because I believe we all deserve the best. I'm just choosing to not enjoy my rut but to propel myself to a new level each time the opportunity presents itself and if it doesn't present, to go find opportunity.

Look around you? Are you comfortable? Yes? That's good right? Or is it? In that comfort, is there happiness? Satisfaction? Or is it laden with regret? Do you have what you have dreamed of having? Are you what you dreamed of being? Have you given up on your dreams and settled? I haven't given up on any of mine and most of mine have come true so now I've taken on some new ones because, well, why the heck not?

The other day I was asked to speak on a topic that was new. I hesitated for a moment and they quickly said I could speak on a more familiar topic, but I said no, let me try the new one. I hadn't prepared for it. I hadn't given it any thought, and it was a little uncomfortable. I made a few notes, then tossed them away. It was a small crowd but all the key players in my business were in the room. I took the mike and told my story.

I'm not sure it was any good, but it's a start. I will get better at that.

And next time I won't be as uncomfortable.

I have for as long as I remember, seen myself speaking in front of a large crowd of thousands and each time I speak in front of a smaller crowd I know that this will make that time less uncomfortable.

So, I tell you all of this because I want 'you to understand why I want to jump in a cold lake. Because to get uncomfortable is to lead to rewards that you've never dreamt of. What is the reward for jumping in the cold lake? That's part of the discomfort, usually we don't know until we do it, what it is all leading to.

Want something? Look carefully at what steps you need to take to get it. Then take one. Then take another. Make the call you're afraid to take. Send the email. Apply for that job. Declare yourself open to the possibility of having your dreams come true. And they have a better chance of doing so.

Risk something. Get uncomfortable. Jump in the lake! I dare ya! NO, I double dog dare ya! SPLASH...brrrrr...WOOHOOOO!

You do not have to do what you've always done, but if you do, expect to be where you've always been!Carolyn R. Parsons