06 Mar “Put yourself in a position that demands you leap.”
I want to share the experience of writing my next book. I’m not composing it in secrecy, tucked away in a tower wearing nothing but a cape like Victor Hugo writing The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
I want to let the light in, so hopefully the story shines brighter in the end. The words are mine and the experience is my own; yet the story’s for others in the hopes to create change.
Seth Godin, One of my greatest influences, taught me something valuable about creating meaningful work on a recent episode of the Rich Roll Podcast:
“You can’t become attached to the outcome,” he says.
Will this book, this new career, this project be a success? This applies to creating, but also to nearly every aspect of life.
Will I be truly happy moving to the other side of the world or to another state?
Will this relationship work out?
We all ask ourselves these sorts of questions. That fear of what might be — failure, let down, disappointment — does nothing but prevent us from starting, thus thwarting the thrill of the pursuit and the joy of doing something precisely because you don’t know if it’ll work.
Imagine a world in which we knew if things were going to work out. If we knew it wouldn’t work, we’d sit on our haunches and settle for where we are, which is always less than where we can go if we’d courageously dare to try.
If we knew something would work, would be push ourselves and try as hard as we possibly could?
Probably not. It’s the pressure to make something happen where we push against the boundaries of who we were and become something greater.
That not knowing is the key to unlocking our irrational, terrifying, beautiful soul.
Not knowing is the reason humans have dared to dream so big. Those who changed the world didn’t hold the answer; they had to leap — meaning, I may free fall, but I’m all in.
“That fear you feel is a sign,” says author Ryan Holiday.
“If courage is never required in your life, you’re living a boring life. Put yourself in a position that demands you leap.”
If it doesn’t work out, who cares? You tried. You were brave enough to look into the void of future potential and say, let’s ride.
That ride is everything. It gives meaning to our days and direction to our soul.
Godin imparts a second crucial lesson about creating:
“Get really clear on who it’s for and what it’s for. Who exactly are we seeking to change?”
This is something I didn’t strongly consider with my book before hearing his words. I’ve been writing my story about pursuing a different sort of life over the summer in Europe, hoping the story itself is enough to impact people — although I wasn’t specific exactly about who.
That’s more or less what I did with Arrows of Youth. But this work matters to me, as I know I have a unique opportunity to inspire which I don’t take lightly.
So who is my next book for?
It’s for my generation, the youth who know deep within their bones that they’re made for something more.
There must be an alternative to the story we’ve been sold:
Go to school, get a job, work, perhaps for years at a job you hate, to climb a ladder to look good in the eyes of others.
That’s the cookie-cutter version of a varied and complex paradigm, but you understand what I’m saying. There’s a lack of genuine meaning in our modern day.
What this past summer living at a hostel in Lisbon, Portugal and working on a farm in southern Italy illuminated for me is an exemplified answer to the question:
Is there another way?
The old paradigm’s crumbling. A way of being that we feel in our hearts to be true and real and important must succeed it — but what is this new paradigm?
We can find out together if we’d dare to leap.
This book is for those ready to embark on the adventure of their lives. Those who seek an option. A way forward. A clearer understanding of what this life might mean, who hear the words emanating from their hearts and are ready to listen.
So that’s what I’m working on. I don’t know if it will work — I strive to give everything I have to find out.