I have a tattoo on my right bicep. It’s of a dagger with a banner that says “Fortune Favors The Brave.” Mighty words, and a thought that I need to keep reminding myself of. So much so, that I decided to have it permanently printed on my body.
That’s the thing about body art; people think that it’s an expression to the world of what you are in a “I don’t care what you think” kind of way. In my case, and with that particular tattoo, I need it as an everyday reminder to myself of who I want to be. Every once in a while that mark yells to me: “PUT UP OR SHUT UP!”
It’s been a crazy week and a half. I simultaneously closed a business and opened a new one. It’s all for the best and the future looks bright, but a bold move and a tumultuous one to say the least. I tossed and turned on my decision for months, so much so that several mornings I awoke with the elastic corner of the fitted sheet over my head.
Life takes bravery and bold moves sometimes. It takes the willingness to, in the words of Tom Petty: “free fall out into nothing.”
But, here’s a thought: make sure you’ve packed your own parachute. By that I mean, bold moves are one thing. Hasty, not quite fully thought out moves are quite another. If you were to let someone else pack your parachute, not only would you be jumping for the wrong reasons, when you pull the rip chord, all that might come out is confetti.
Making solid decisions is a process of receiving information, considering it, putting it up against context and history, and then using that information to make assumptions about the future. Could you make a mistake? Of course. We see evidence of that everyday in everything from businesses going under to the ridiculousness we call our political system.
There’s a lyric from a Stephen Sondheim song called “Move On.” it goes; “I chose, and my world was shaken–so what? The choice may have been mistaken
but choosing was not. You have to move on.”
Figuring out how to be brave enough to affect radical change in your life when needed is what we’re really talking about here, and I’m not the benchmark by any stretch. I delayed and delayed my decision until disaster was poking its head over the horizon. Far enough away to keep going on the path for a while, but knowing that doing so didn’t really benefit either myself or anyone else on the path with me.
I’m beginning to think that our natural resistance to change is nothing but fear of our own mortality. If nothing ever changes, then maybe we won’t ever die. Well, the only thing that never changes is the fact that one day we will die.
It’s time to embrace change, for doing so is to embrace progress. Bravery is to confront the unknown and to challenge your status quo. So here’s my advice: consider, reconsider, jump. Just make sure it was you who packed the chute.