To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself. Kierkegaard
I was at dinner a few weeks ago with a few successful entrepreneurs in New York City. Well, entrepreneur might be the only encompassing word for them–it was more like a diverse group of really cool thirty-somethings chasing their dreams and doing well at that. One had just returned from her masters in art & economics in Sweden, another from his job at CitiGroup where he led litigation in a banking division, another from Jersey where he calls home to consult for folks another the country and two more really awesome people that find home in New York and dabble in arts, media, and museums.
That night we participated in a really cool exercise to help each other get over the speed-bumps in our lives: we shared something we were dealing with and working to conquer. With just one mutual friend gathering us, we were strangers-‘successful’ in our own paths, but strangers all the same. Something amazing happened when we shared our problems. No, it wasn’t that everyone had a solution to all of the problems; better yet, they had questions.
My favorite question of the night was, “Is it, that maybe you know exactly what you love and want to do, but you’re too afraid to do it?”
If you can create a safe space with your friends or associates I’d definitely recommend this exercise. I had a lot of fun gaining a lot from our conversation and adding value to the lives of the others. You can also find this conversation through a week-long fellowship program called StartingBloc, of which I am a NY13 fellow.
Living a life of purpose is tough in a world where there is a proven ‘safe and secure’ way to approaching life. It’s especially difficult when you’re ‘set’ with a kushy job and a nice schedule. If that makes you happy-so be it! But, if you don’t feel as great about where you are it’s probably time to start asking yourself some questions and look around for people thinking about the same things.
Neither Age nor success is a factor. Whether you’re 23 like me, 13 like Jack who’s working on Cancer, or 30 like some of my friends here–or 40,50,60–it doesn’t matter. There isn’t an age where ‘just living’ is okay. Always push yourself. Dare to try, it’s going to be a little scary, but if you never do then you’ll never be who you were destined too.
Being great isn’t about being the loudest leader or even leading from the front. It’s just about doing what you love and being the best you can- be a great dad, a great mom, be a great doctor or a great shoe salesmen.
Live on purpose. Allow yourself be great. Tweet it with me, #LetMeBeGreat.