The Idea Dude


Thursday, December 28, 2006

Take it beyond where you found it

This dude spent the last couple of days on slopes of a Mont Tremblant as a welcome break from TheGoodBlogs (hence the late night emails some of your received, the sun never sets on TheGoodBlogs). I had the privilege of sharing the ride up the mountain with a 60+ year old who told us the conditions of the black diamond wasn't too bad! just a 'little' steep in places, he said with a twinkle in his eye. What was impressive was that he was snowboarding. After skiing for 50 years, he figured snowboarding was easier on his body and picked it up 5 years ago. Then he went on to tell us about how neat paragliding was and yes it was really quite safe. We were all suitable impressed, although my son was a little concerned when I asked to borrow his snowboard next year.

So all of this not only inspired me (no, I didn't go down the diamond run) but made me think of risk. Risk is one of those things that is so often miscalculated because we add our personal foibles and paranoias which really skew what the real risk is. For example, people are twice as likely to die from falling out of bed than being struck by lightning (read that in Time magazine a couple weeks back). Yet we think it is riskier to walk around in a storm than going to bed. Often our fear of something or lack of knowledge means we assign more risk to certain things than others when the reverse may really be true. So is starting your own company really any riskier than joining a new startup as an employee? Not really, I would argue the chances of failure is pretty much the same. So is it riskier to start our own business because we stand to lose more money on our own or perhaps it is the fear of failure and being labelled as such that makes us assign a high level of risk to our own initiatives. I believe one of the reasons that my kids took to skiing and snowboard much quicker than I did was not only the fact that their center of gravity was much lower than mine, but because falling was part of the fun and they didn't think about how stupid they may look wiping out in the snow or breaking a limb or too. Yes, too much knowledge can be paralyzing.

So as we close on 2006, my challenge to all of my fellow bloggers is to promise yourselves to do something you never did before in 2007. It doesn't have to be dangerous but there may be more an internal fear that has stopped you all along. Perhap it is standing up and speaking in front of a crowd, or learning to ski (lessons recommended), asking for that date you always wanted. Once you start, you'll wonder what the hullabaloo was all about.

There's a movie called Crossroads about a boy wanting to be a guitarist. The movie itself isn't in my opinion that outstanding other than guitar duel with Steve Vai and Ralph Macchio. But there is a scene that the mentor of Ralph's character says, "Take it beyond where you found it". So for 2007, take it beyond where you found it, exceed your own expectations, learn something new, make a difference in someone's life and savor every waking moment.

Excuse me... there's a pair of Heelys (them shoes with wheels) in my closet waiting for me....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My promise is to step up and finally do my own thing. The joy of creating my own software and the only person breathing down my neck is, well, me is quite wonderful. Now if what I create is good enough to let me live on, ahh, nervana...

5:08 PM  
Blogger The Idea Dude said...

Awesome Robert, good luck with your endeavours.

For me, it was more scary not to try than to try and fail.

6:08 PM  

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