Life has a strange way of sneaking up on us. The question is what do we do when life gives you your wakeup call. Sometimes we receive terrible news: health concerns, business troubles, personal strife. These are tough situations we will cover in a later post. Today, however, I want to focus on another kind of wakeup call... the one we should NOT ignore.
Many times life sends us signals and our natural hesitation, or inner voice, holds us back. We all admire those who came before us to take leaps of faith when life opened a door. My dad left Greece as a teenager to come to America. What a massive risk: no money, no job, no school. He came from a tiny village in northern Greece... not even a city. Today we struggle with the more pedestrian concepts of sending our kids to summer camp or college. My dad, many of our dads, left everything behind and their parents proudly watched them go with a smile on their face knowing they would "get the job done." That takes guts, confidence... chutzpa!
When somebody pulls off a success, people are quick to call it luck. I disagree. My dad has always said, "there is an extremely fine line between thinking about it and doing it". Sounds like something a dad would say when I was young, but now I get it. When life sends you signals do you say "Why me?" or "Why not me?" I encourage you to lean towards the latter:
Why shouldn't I own my house?
Why shouldn't I start my own company?
Why shouldn't I take that chance?
That voice inside your head always stops you. We overthink and overanalyze decisions. We fear failure and what our friends and family will think if we fail. You MUST put a stop to that style of thinking. It is paralyzing. I have been there and we have all been there. Risks MUST be taken to succeed. We MUST take chances and leaps of faith. The path will not be clear and we will face obstacles we cannot see. Failure will always be a possibility. Who cares? Go for it.
I almost fell victim to the "why me" voice in my head when I had my first lunch with Chris on Magilla.
First reaction... that exists, doesn't it?
Second reaction... there must be reasons why it doesn't exist?
Third reaction... we can't do that?
Where are the guts to take a chance and go for it? They came a month later when we spoke again and I channeled some of my father's adventurous spirit.
Why not me?
I told myself I can do this and Magilla was born.
We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us: our grandparents, parents, teachers, mentors. Magilla is an amalgamation of everything I have learned up till now: everything I learned from my parents; from Mr. Frank Pignata's computer programming class at Sacramento Country Day School on a TRS-80; learning how to build a website on Mosaic (thank you, Marc Andreessen) at Columbia University; having the support of my wife and brothers to take these risks.
As cliché as it sounds, Nike has it right...
JUST DO IT!
This post originally appeared on The Whole Magilla and was co-written with Chris Meyer, co-founder of MagillaLoans.com.