Is it true that we only feel really alive when we live close to the edge? When in life do you experience a thrill of excitement or rush of joy? It doesn’t happen only on the edge of failure, but that is definitely one way to get there.
I feel that rush sometimes just looking at my family and feeling overwhelmed with gratitude, so I know being close to failure isn’t the only way.
My best friend Jen felt that rush when she made the jump from managing MIO salon in Oakland, to being a full time hairdresser at MIO. What if no one came in to have their hair done? What if the phone never rang and her chair sat empty?
I felt that rush leaving my cushy salaried job to start my career in Real Estate. What if I had no clients? What if the deals never closed? Gasping for air… What if I go BROKE?!?
My man Mike felt it when he ran for the position of President of his Union, Local 3 – what if no one voted? But the did vote.
Jen’s business is a success and she gets rave reviews. My real estate business has been going strong almost 10 years now. Mike has made sweeping positive changes for his union brothers and sisters. None of that would have been possible if we had not each chosen to face failure.
I was listening to Seth Godin’s Podcast called Startup School. Great Podcast by the way. He is sharing the audio recording from a live workshop he held a few years back for business owners who were just getting started in various projects. In Episode 10 he mentions the basic premise behind his recent book, The Icarus Deception, on what he feels our true purpose in life is.
“Purpose, for just about everybody – when they feel they have achieved their purpose, it’s to dance on the edge of failure. They are dancing and they’re growing and there is a void over there and they keep moving forward, and that’s when we feel alive as people… getting close to the precipice I think that is ingrained in who we are as people.”
I’ve have personally danced on that edge (of failure) several times in business and hundreds of times in life.
There is fear in the abyss. It’s easier to quit than to stare down the abyss. It’s easier to quit than to do that dance.
But…when you don’t quit… the best parts of life can hide in that abyss.