What would a braver person do?
May 24, 2017 in Transformation
Not all frontiers are geographic
Adventure is an exciting concept, but your next great adventure may not require you to step outside the comfort of your own home. It will however require you to step outside the comfort of your established patterns of thinking.
Adventure is about crossing boundaries into the unknown, but not all boundaries are geographic, and some of that unknown is in your day to day opportunities and in yourself. Some of those boundaries you hardly even notice, and yet their constraints on your potential and your future freedom may be every bit as powerful as a prison wall.
Where are your big frontiers?
As with all adventure, stepping through frontiers and into uncharted territory will require courage, but maybe not as much courage as you might fear.
So what are your boundaries; what big frontiers are awaiting your attention? You might use the following questions to seek some insight into this: What would an even braver version of me do differently? Who is the most courageous person I know - living, dead, or imaginary - and what do I imagine he or she might do in my role?
You don't have to cross at the most dangerous point
Seeing your position and your options from a 'braver' perspective does not commit you to then acting it out, but it does extend the range of possibilities you are willing to consciously consider. When you begin to consider these options seriously you are apt to find that what you most feared about them (those things that caused you to dismiss them at the outset, or to miss them altogether) may be mitigated, avoided, or creatively addressed.
Bravery is not a blind commitment to rush into frightening situations, it is simply a willingness to consider that such a commitment is an option, and thereby to realistically, intelligently and creatively assess the nature of that option.
The nature of tentative fearlessness
Once you have seriously considered those options, and fairly weighed up the risks and consequences against the opportunities and benefits, you can let the less-brave version of you make the final decision.
Most of the time, that decision may well be from among the safer options, but every once in a while you will see a better opportunity that was hidden from you until you 'put on your brave specs', and when you do you will find things turn just a little bit more adventurous and rewarding. Who knows, it may even become a habit!
Tools for intrepid pathfinders
To help you adopt the brave person's perspective, try the following questions either on your own or with a small group - and capture the answers on a flipchart:
- What do we think Richard Branson might do with this?
- What is the most scary option we could take here?
- What would we choose to do if we knew we couldn't fail?
- If we had a magic wand, what would we wish to happen?
- If this were a spectacular film plot, what would happen next?
There really is treasure in adventure
Everything worthwhile takes courage. The obvious and safe options have mostly been tried, both within ourselves and without, and any significant opportunity still available has proven largely immune to them. Those that are left remain either because they are largely worthless, or because they require a new, more adventurous, approach, and no-one has been bold enough to try it yet.
There is treasure for those who succeed, and a smaller population worthy to compete for it. But there is a world of difference between courage and recklessness.
Courage weighs up the options, looks for the alternatives, sees new possibilities. It may sometimes take 'the road less travelled', but if it does so it will likely be because it took courage to see it rather than courage to walk it.
You won't be any more mistake-prone
If it helps, Peter Drucker (one of the World's most experienced and insightful business experts) says that people who take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year! But that is about the same number of mistakes as those people who don't take risks generally make. And with the inspirometer many of those mistakes can be identified early and adjusted on the fly, so they don't become bigger than they need to be.
Don't forget - you ARE an adventurer!
The difference between living life or simply occupying it is the amount of adventure within it. Every aspect of your life has the potential to be an adventure all of its own.
Of course, in the day-to-day pressures that we face it is easy to forget that fact, so why not take a look at how some people are using inspirometer (as a self-coaching tool) to remind themselves, and to map their own bravery in making change. Jesus said "I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full" - please don't short-change yourselves! So how do you feel?