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brown canoe in the body of water near mountain

Not everyone wants passion

They might say they want passion, that excitement and energy is magnetic and alluring. But they don’t really want it.

Stability is comfortable, and safety is reliable. Passion inserts question marks into shadows and corners. It’s the same with knowledge and education, opportunity and progress; publicly, someone might say they want these things, but do they?

What if progress means stepping away from the known, and opportunity means walking away from those you hold close? What if education creates a gap between you and your tribe? What if knowledge brands you — and not in a positive way: A tree standing too tall, asking to be cut.

Which direction do you choose? What do you chase?

Braving intimacy

Intimacy is a series of steps, a sometimes timid momentum that helps define who we are and what we most fear. Choices that shine light on the walls surrounding each one of us.

That gap between “too much” and not enough. A hesitant share. The pause before an extended hand. Gentle questions to better understand.

Of course there are risks. But the best things in life happen because of these leaps

Get a celebrity on the phone

Tim Ferriss told a group of Princeton college students that he’d buy them a round-trip ticket anywhere in the world if they could get a celebrity on the phone. Out of the group of twenty eager jet-setters, not one attempted the challenge. He posed the same contest to a different set of students one year later. In two days, over 35% came back with results.

Why?

They believed they could.

The separating factor between these two groups is action. It’s easy to come up with excuses, set low expectations, or dismiss the successes of others. It’s difficult to commit to your own goals and dreams. Action takes courage, confidence, and commitment.

Sometimes you need to set an expectation that seems unrealistic; a mark so audaciously high and unfathomable you convince yourself to try it. Maybe you hit that banner, maybe you fall short. Either way, you’re propelling yourself into action. And that action alone sets you apart from the rest of the crowd.

Tell me what unrealistic goals you’re setting @redheadlefthand.

Converting risk into opportunity

Risk is often associated with negative consequence and bad bets. Yet sometimes risk can bring opportunity, growth, confidence, and responsibility. The right risk-taking behaviors build self esteem and self-efficacy, the belief in your own ability to perform and create change. Positive risk-taking encourages you to take control over your own life.

Examples of risk converted into opportunity:

  • Investment
  • Taking steps, however small, toward your dreams
  • Personal growth
  • A business idea
  • Making change: Lifestyle, approach, identity
  • Initiating conversation at the supermarket
  • Creative endeavors
  • Relationships

For risk-taking to become positive, potential benefits and consequences must be fully explored. Evaluating your priorities and potential can help identify the resources available to you as you draw up strategies to minimize negative outcomes. This work can be time consuming — but worth it.

Some questions to ask:

  • What are the reasons for taking this risk? Am I responding to a situation or taking a proactive approach?
  • What are my experiences with risk? What is my understanding of it?
  • Outline actions that could be risky. What are the possible positive outcomes? Clearly define the risks are you going to take and describe the ideal responses from these actions.
  • Consider any negative repercussions, including the likelihood of these things happening.
  • What safety nets already exist? Are there any you can create?

36 ways to cultivate gratitude

  1. Write a letter.
  2. Meditate.
  3. Look at old photos.
  4. Go for a walk.
  5. Cook a special meal.
  6. Start a journal.
  7. Send flowers.
  8. Bake cookies.
  9. Take new photos.
  10. Compliment someone.
  11. Sit in nature.
  12. Praise a colleague.
  13. Call a relative.
  14. Hug warmly.
  15. Savor a cup of tea.
  16. Listen to soft music.
  17. Smile.
  18. Concentrate on your breathing.
  19. Acknowledge a stranger.
  20. Teach what you know.
  21. Block out time in your calendar.
  22. Surprise a loved one.
  23. Make a playlist.
  24. Wake up to watch the sun rise.
  25. Give to a meaningful cause.
  26. Watch the sun set.
  27. Observe your thoughts.
  28. Move slowly, intentionally.
  29. Volunteer.
  30. Do an online yoga class.
  31. Watch clouds pass.
  32. Download a new podcast.
  33. Start a new project.
  34. Recognize kindness.
  35. Say thank you.
  36. Love.