If you’re a regular coffee drinker in South Africa, you’ll be familiar with the little Hulletts sugar packs with the inspirational or motivational quotations printed on them. One such quote that caught my eye recently was “Take the leap. You can’t cross a chasm in two jumps.”
If you’ve ever leaped across a chasm, you will know that this statement is very true. Unless you’re Superman or some other gravity-defying being.
I am a leapie kind of guy. My childhood was rather sheltered and non-eventful so I’ve been making up for it since my escape from school. For me, this advice goes without saying but I’m well aware of folk who need to plan extensively, sometimes missing the boat for their excessive preparations.
There needs to be a healthy balance of both. I favour the side of leaping without necessarily looking. When I get to the other side, it’s often well worth the jump. On the other hand, sometimes the chasm is just too wide and a single leap isn’t good enough. On these occasions I’ve fallen short of the mark and paid the price for my lack of planning.
That said, even when my little legs weren’t able to get me all the way to the other side, taking those chances still provided me with as much or more pleasure, growth and reward than those times that I did make it, and certainly opened up much more potential than those rare occasions that I chose not to leap.
The trick is to know yourself well enough to know which leaps are gonna get you there and which leaps will fall short. And, if you do fall short, should you cut your losses or grab onto the nearest protruding branch or ledge and climb up. More often, you won’t know any of this before hand. You can’t always plan the jump. You have to be very self-aware to know what to do in every moment.
Too many people say they’ll leap into those new ventures when they’re ready but they never get ready. It isn’t the prepared that pave new routes. It’s by taking the chances that new routes are made. Which one are you? Are you taking your time convinced that you’ll build a bridge across the chasm? What if by the time you get over, the opportunities are long gone?
Take the leap. You may not make it to the other side in one jump but I guarantee that you’ll be heading closer to your dream regardless.
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