Why You Can’t Share Your Ideas With Just Anyone

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Lightbulb! By Matthew Wynn. CC2.0

Last year I became interested in buying a rental property and becoming a landlord. I was full of excitement and decided to share my great idea with my close friends and family. Their response was the opposite of what I was hoping for:

  • “I know a friend who’s a landlord and his tenants trashed the place!”
  • “I’ve heard it’s hard to get renters in this economy. You’ll probably have to pay the mortgage yourself.”
  • “You know you’ll have to keep track of everything, right? And think about how complicated the taxes will be!”

If my idea was a small fire, those around me snuffed it out.

In my discouragement, I wrote down a list of pros and cons and presented it to my friend, David. David was not only my original inspiration to by a rental property, he was always a great encourager. He knew how to throw kindling on ideas. This made him a fantastic person to talk with.

We sat in a Starbucks, and David looked at my list. One-by-one he addressed every con. He then paused and sat back.

“John, you can do this if you want. If you go for it, you’ll do great.”

It was as if David had more confidence in me that I had in myself. He believed that I could achieve whatever I wanted. He wasn’t ignorant – he knew I would face problems – he just trusted that I would figure everything out.  

I realized I had made a mistake. I wished I had not shared my idea with anyone and everyone. David agreed: sharing your ideas too quickly can be dangerous. Ideas are like trees. They grow up to be strong and nearly immovable, but they start out as a single stem.

David also cautioned me that a lot of people are not in the right place to share constructive advice. Most people are risk-averse and frequently struggle with pessimism. David quoted a real estate mogul whose book we had both been reading:

“Everyone can tell you the risk. An entrepreneur can see the reward.” – Robert Kiyosaki

Coming out of that experience, here are three ways I learned to keep your ideas from getting crushed:

  1. Take action on your ideas before sharing them. When you share ideas that are still in their infancy, they can be easily suffocated. Doing something about your ideas first will help cement them.
  2. Don’t share your ideas with just anyone. Ideally, share your ideas with someone who has already succeeded in the area that you want to succeed in. If that’s not possible, share your ideas with people who are positive and take risks. They will help you overcome your obstacles instead of telling you why you should give up.
  3. Use Naiveté. Don’t research so much when you first come up with an idea. While other people can easily discourage you, you might also discourage yourself by finding out too much about the road ahead. Only research enough to figure out how to get past what is directly in front of you.

If you find yourself in a position where other people are sharing their ideas with you, here are three strategies to help without discouraging them:

  1. Share your bad experiences as barriers that can be overcome. It’s natural to warn those around us if we see them headed down a hard path. Some people were worried for me because they had friends who tried to be landlords and went though a lot of problems. Instead of communicating, “don’t do this because it might be hard,” they could’ve said, “we know someone who has a lot of experience in this area and can tell you what to avoid!” See the difference?  
  2. Remember that everyone is different. Others will not necessarily fail or succeed where we have. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.
  3. Have more confidence in other people than they have in themselves. My friend David still does this so well that it shocks me every time. His confidence helps step in and shoulder the weight while my confidence is still growing. 

In what areas of life have you tried to share an idea with someone only to be discouraged?

Where have you been the naysayer? Where have you discouraged people from taking action because of your own experiences?

What could your life look like if you were constantly taking action and encouraging others?

Why It’s Not My Job To Highlight Where Other People Are Wrong

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Last weekend I was with my church at our local Gay Pride festival. We were giving out hugs and high-fives to everyone who came within in a 5-foot radius.

Two men walked up to us. They had driven up from a conservative church in the South and wore T-shirts with inflammatory statements:

Jesus is the Judge, therefore:
Abortion is Murder
Homosexuality is a Sin
Islam is a Lie
Evolution is a Delusion
Feminism is Rebellion
Liberalism is a False Religion
Conservatism is Pretend Salt

As someone who had recently written about the harm caused when the church had judged and rejected the gay community , I strongly felt like it was my duty to fight with them. It was a black and white issue. I thought to myself, “look at these idiots spreading their hate to everyone. Thank God I am here to tell them what Jesus really thinks.”

But then I remembered:

God hasn’t called me to argue with people or to point out where they’re messing up. He’s called me to love.

As much as I enjoy arguing and as much as my ego gets a boost from being right, at my core I want to be a peacemaker.

I decided that even though these two people were looking for a fight, I would give them a friend. I’m sure they were expecting people at this festival of sin to be angry with and oppose them. People were angry with and opposed Jesus, after all. But since I’m an aspiring peacemaker, I decided to practice something my dad taught me a long time ago: selective agreement.

The first guy launched into a speech about how important the Bible was and how we shouldn’t follow the crowd – we needed to read it for ourselves and make our own decisions.  This actually seemed to true to me, so I agreed.

In fact, whenever he said something that was true, I noticed and encouraged it. Whenever he said something which wasn’t true, I just ignored it.

And that was it. After a while I hugged the first guy and they both left.

Other Christians did end up engaging with them and telling them the truth: Jesus didn’t spread hate and we shouldn’t either. Don’t get me wrong, I do think that some people are called to do this. Some prominent Christian leaders have been recently talking about how to ban gays from our churches and how to keep Muslims from immigrating to our country. Those leaders need to be held accountable by someone, but that someone isn’t me.

I’ve come to realize that in battles like these, I’m called to be a medic, not a soldier.

Soldiers fight. They attack and withdraw. They lead charges. 

But not me.

I don’t win battles. I don’t get medals. I kneel beside the wounded and bandage them up. I speak truth to them: I tell them that they’re strong and brave. I remind them of who they really are. 

I pour love into their wounded sides. I take off their crown of thorns.

In his sermon the mount, Jesus said, “bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Maybe you’re called to stand up to people. How could you bless them while not compromising your beliefs? Maybe you’re called to be a medic. How can you help nurse people back to spiritual health?

How I Came To Reverse My Position on Homosexuality

As a Christian, I’ve always felt like my beliefs were constantly at odds with secular culture. The Bible said that the “World” was bad and constantly trying to compromise your beliefs. But if you had courage to stand with God, God would stand with you in the end.

The most recent example was with homosexuality. Our entire country used to agree with the Bible that it was wrong and a sinful behavior, but because of secularism, people were becoming okay with sin.

In college I decided to do something about it.

I created a blog where I defended the (conservative) Christian position on any issue I could think of. I soon wrote articles on why homosexuality was wrong. To me, it was like alcohol. Even if you didn’t choose your desires, you still had self-control. If we always gave into what we wanted, the world would be chaos.

After graduation I joined a new church where they preached on topics I had never heard before: justice for the poor, respect for the environment, equality for women, and expecting healing when you prayed for the sick. In many ways the church seemed to take all the beautiful things from conservatism and liberalism and put them in one place.

I remember being in my car where I was listening to a sermon on homosexuality. The pastor said that even though homosexuality was wrong, the Church’s reaction to homosexuals was equally wrong.

These people had been rejected so often by their own friends and family. Drawn to the church – no doubt inspired by the “come as you are mottos” – we rejected them again.

We stigmatized them. We were the pharisee in the story that knelt down and said, “God, I thank you I am not like other people – robbers, evildoers, adulterers – or even like this homosexual.”

A gay person was created in the image of God, and we had rejected that image.

I was floored. The pastor said that he would take the first step in repenting, and I knew I had to do the same.

My heart had been softened, but my mind couldn’t escape the fact that the Bible was still clear: homosexuality was wrong. It had lopped them in with liars, adulterers, and people who worshiped pieces of stone.

Things began to shift again over 5 years later. One of my mentors told me about a book written by a friend of his who was a pastor. This pastor had planted a church in a liberal part of the state and had many people in his congregation who were gay. He believed being gay was a sin, so he felt justified when he excluded them from membership, leadership, and getting married.

But over time this approach seemed to backfire. Parents would come to him for counseling, thinking that their kids were defective. They knew it was just a sin, but they felt like there was something deeply wrong with them. The kids would in turn come to him for advice because they felt like their core identity was being rejected.

The pastor decided that it was time to re-examine the Biblical texts on homosexuality. If his approach was going to cause so much harm and disunity, he wanted to be certain that there were no other alternative views out there.

To his shock, he discovered a sharp debate between Biblical scholars on the meaning and interpretation of the texts. For example:

  • In the ancient world, there was virtually no concept of sexual orientation. (Homosexuality didn’t appear in print until the 1860s.) (1)
  • The Old Testament passages in Leviticus (18:22, 20:13) were understood by first-century Jewish commentators as talking about male shrine and cult temple prostitution. (2)
  • The New Testament passages were likely speaking out against men in exploitative relationships: men having sex with prostitutes, slaves, and adolescent boys. (3)

After doing an exhaustive study of the passages in question, the pastor came to this conclusion:

I think it adds up to a reasonable possibility that the texts are not addressing the morality of what happens between same-sex couples who love each other as equals and express their sexuality in the context of a loving, monogamous relationship….[The traditional readings] may be correct. But [they] are not indisputably correct, as is often assumed. (4)

The pastor recognized that while the Bible didn’t seem to be speaking about modern gay relationships, the church had handled this issue poorly. Views on homosexuality became a litmus test. Christians would simply not associate with other Christians who had different views. Recognizing that this was not a settled issue in the church and wanting to create space for people of differing viewpoints, the pastor decided to take a Third Way.

My views were cemented a year later when I became friends with several gay Christians.

As I mentioned before, I had grown up believing that because homosexuality was a sin, it would naturally lead to various problems in the person’s life. After all, you can’t go against God’s natural order and get off scot-free. Just as there are no well-rounded alcoholics, there could be no well-rounded people who were gay. As Jesus mentions in Matthew 7, bad trees bear bad fruit:

“By their fruit you will recognize them. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, by their fruit you will recognize them.”

But I didn’t see the bad fruit in them.

In fact, when I looked at my gay friends, all I saw was love.

While I obviously couldn’t see into every part of their lives, Jesus was pretty clear that bad trees didn’t  produce good fruit.

In the end, it was really love that took the day. In the face of love, any arguments I had feel flat. As the Apostle John wrote in the New Testament:

Beloved, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. – 1 John 4:7-8

My gay friends were full of love and therefore I knew they were from God.

One of my favorite quotes I’ve heard recently is from Sheik Ehab, a historian and lecturer at Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. He said,

“Stop hearing about us and start hearing from us.”

It seems not a day goes by that we’re faced with a controversy where we’re tempted to look past the people.

Big issues involving other people’s lives end up becoming abstract arguments we talk about over the dinner table.

But what if we could look at the people first? We obviously don’t want to throw our minds out of the windows, but what if we changed the order? What if we met people first, and formulated our opinions second?

What if we could stop hearing about people and start talking with them?

-Citations-

1 – http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/homosexuality/

2 – Wilson, Ken. A Letter to My Congregation: An evangelical pastor’s path to embracing people who are gay, lesbian and transgender in the company of Jesus (Kindle Location 1018). David Crumm Media, LLC. Kindle Edition.

3 – Wilson, Ken. A Letter to My Congregation: An evangelical pastor’s path to embracing people who are gay, lesbian and transgender in the company of Jesus (Kindle Locations 1100-1104). David Crumm Media, LLC. Kindle Edition.

4- Wilson, Ken. A Letter to My Congregation: An evangelical pastor’s path to embracing people who are gay, lesbian and transgender in the company of Jesus (Kindle Locations 971-972). David Crumm Media, LLC. Kindle Edition.

Why My 30s Will Be Better Than My 20s

“Is life getting better for me, or worse?” I’ve been thinking about this question recently, because I think the answer holds the key to what attitude I should approach life with. If life is getting worse, having a negative perspective on life is the most natural, realistic thing you can do. If life is getting better, anything but hope is completely foolish.

A few months ago, I was getting drinks with a friend at a bar-cafe. We sat outside on the patio and were enjoying the cool evening air. As we discussed how each our lives had been going, my friend mentioned that he was constantly tempted to believe that his life was getting worse as he got older. He had seen examples all around him of people who had sharp physical and mental declines as they got older.

We discussed dating. I talked about how I spent most of my 20s in an awkward place with low self-confidence and self-respect. I could’ve counted on one or two hands how many dates I had been on during the entire decade.  When I did finally enter the dating world when I was 29, everything was more complicated. You now had to wait several hours or days before responding to a text message. You had to seem busy and uninterested, no matter how interested you were. If a girl thought I was more into her than she was into me, I would “lose the power” in the relationship. 

Another problem of starting to date in my 30s: there seemed to be a lot less people around who were still single. It seemed that as soon as people got out of college they were focused on getting married. 

It felt like I was in a race, but everyone else had already finished by the time I had laced up my shoes.

I tried online dating, but this ended up providing too much choice. As Barry Schwartz pointed out in his Ted Talk, having too many options is actually bad. You can always imagine something else being better. You are less satisfied with your choice, no matter how good of a choice it was.

Online dating also felt shallow. In lieu of meeting real people and then using dating to explore an existing connection, online dating would have me meet strangers to see if any connection even existed. Since you often only have a few pictures and some superficial facts, you end up practicing how to judge people in a very shallow way. The people with whom you might legitimately connect with get skipped over. Online dating made people seem more 2-dimensional.

I had always heard things like “the right one will come along when you’re not looking” and “I took a break from dating and met the person of my dreams,” so I decided to also take a break. But that didn’t seem to work either.

It’s really hard to go on dates when you don’t ask people out.

This led to an internal conflict: dating is weird and complicated, but it is the gateway that leads to several things that I want most in life. I not only want a deep connection with another person, I want to have children. But being a father isn’t a job I can have alone.

Sometimes it seems like it takes an incredible amount of strength and self-confidence to have your deep desires go unmet and to still not falter.

As I sat outside at the cafe with my friend, I could clearly see the ways the future could be negative. But as I began to look at the facts, I wasn’t confident that this was the direction I was heading. Comparing myself to who I was just three years ago led to shocking results. I am:

  • Healthier (I eat better, sleep more, go the gym regularly)
  • Better off financially
  • More self-aware
  • More independent
  • Better communicator
  • More attractive (I dress better, have more confidence)
  • More emotionally healthy 
  • Wiser
  • Take more risks
  • Have better hobbies (I read, write, and even listen to better music)
  • Closer to God, family, and friendships

When I considered the facts, I couldn’t be pessimistic. Pessimism was just too unrealistic.

So I made a decision: I decided to believe that I didn’t miss out on anything by neglecting to rush to get married in my 20s. I also decided that because I had grown so much, I was going to be a much better match for someone, the older I got.

Do you believe that your life is getting better or getting worse?

What areas of your life have you let pessimism sneak in?

What small step can you take today to focus on growing?

How I Learned to Focus On Solutions, Not Problems

My first real job out of college was working in a call center. My department provided customer service around several software products for the college market. As I talked to more and more customers, I began to learn some of the flaws in our software. I naively assumed that I was the first person to find these flaws, so I reported them and waited for the promotion to roll in. 

Nothing happened. Management knew about the problems, but either couldn’t afford to fix them or didn’t know how to.

The calls continued with more problems about our software. I felt frustrated and powerless. I knew it was going to be a long time before anything was fixed.

When they were faced with the same situations, my coworkers often became jaded. They decided that nothing was going to change so they sat around griping. For the first time, I started to join them. I would lament my situation – my job, my boss, our customers, our systems, our corporate structure – to anyone who would listen.

Looking back, I think complaining was attractive for three reasons:

  • Complaining was easy – I didn’t have the free time to think up what needed to change
  • Complaining gave me a sense of control – I felt powerlessness and complaining made me feel like I was doing something
  • Complaining helped me connect with other people – I was able to commiserate with others around me and feel a sense of comradery

I didn’t fully realize how dangerous the mindset of complaining was until I changed positions several years later. I had been tasked to work on a software that would help agents in customer service do their jobs better. When the software was ready to test, I gathered some agents in a room to get their feedback. But as soon as we sat down, everyone started to complain. Not only did they voice their dislike of the software I had helped make, they used the meeting as a springboard to complain about their jobs and the company as a whole. When we asked what was specifically wrong about the software, they couldn’t answer us. They hadn’t actually used it. They didn’t care about improving it at all, they just wanted to gripe about it. 

After one of the feedback meetings my boss pulled me aside. She said something that has stuck with me:

It’s okay to acknowledge problems, but if we don’t focus on how to fix them, nothing will ever change.

Reflecting on my time in that previous department, I now understood that complaining caused more difficulties in the end:

  • Complaining was easier, but because it avoided the actual work nothing changed. 
  • Complaining gave me a sense of control, but it was fake. Complaining didn’t take the situation seriously, it was throwing up hands and relinquishing power, not taking it.
  • Complaining did bring a kind of low-level connection, but it had a cost: it made me feel worse about my job. Even when legitimately good things happened, I didn’t celebrate as much, because I was so focused on what was wrong.

Focusing on my problems clearly didn’t help anything. What if there was another way? What if I decided to follow the advice of my boss and move from focusing on problems to focusing on solutions?

  1. I’ll be doing a lot more work. Solutions require more time and effort than complaining does.
  2. I’ll be taking more risks. Focusing on solutions requires me to test different ideas out, some of which have a chance of losing something.
  3. I’ll be positive and optimistic, but I might also be left out. People love to complain and by making a choice not to, I might look weird.
  4. I’ll be more creative.

In his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, financial guru Robert Kiyosaki contrasts the two phrases “I can’t afford it” with “How can I afford it?”:

“I can’t afford it” shut down your brain. It didn’t have to think anymore. “How can I afford it” opened up the brain. Forced it to think and search for answers…”I can’t afford it” also brings up sadness. A helplessness that leads to despondency and often depression…”How can I afford it?” opens up possibilities, excitement, and dreams…”How can I afford it?” created a stronger mind and a dynamic spirit.

I’ve seen the exact same relationship between complaining and solutions. “Nothing will ever change” shuts down and turns off the brain. “How can this change?” turns on the brain and allows growth.

Are you someone who complains too easily and doesn’t often propose solutions?  The good news is that with some effort, you can change.

In what areas of your life have you found that you tend to focus on problems instead of solutions?

What’s one small solution that you could test out today?

A Simple Shift That Helped Me Talk to Anyone

Recently I’ve become aware that I have a bad habit of judging people when I meet them. Not in a “Westboro Baptist” kind of way, but in a “what will I gain from befriending you” kind of way.  After we start to talk, I start to subconsciously analyze and categorize the person. I make a snap judgement about what they can offer me, and if it’s not much I often start to disconnect with the conversation. 

This habit has become so natural that I have even found myself judging the value of existing friends. This has brought its own hurt and confusion because friendships often go through seasons. Friends move away, go through a hard time, or just need space. During these times, focusing on what they can do for me will risk damage to the relationship.

My bad habit was brought into the light last year when an acquaintance of mine – I’ll call him Tim – asked me to dinner. I had seen Tim at several parties, and I knew we had some mutual friends, but we never really talked much. I often avoided him because I had judged him as having little to offer me – he looked weird, he talked weird, and we had little in common. But I was in a good mood and didn’t want to be mean so I said yes. As the time got closer, however, I really started to dread it and even started to think about an excuse to get out of it. But then an idea hit me:

Instead of focusing on how much value Tim gave me, what if I focused on how much value I could offer Tim? 

Obviously Tim did have his own strengths. He – like everyone else – could teach me something about life. (After all, everyone can be a teacher if you decide to always be a student.) Nonetheless, even though I knew this to be true, it was still hard to want to spend time with Tim. Focusing on what I had to offer him finally gave me a practical way to enjoy our time together. It removed all expectations from me getting something and it turned the whole interaction into a game: let’s see how much I can support and encourage him!

Several days later I met with Tim. As we talked, I put my new focus into practice. This ended up making the interaction so interesting that I not only enjoyed our time together, I actually suggested that we get dinner again in the future!

I’ve continued to use this new perspective in other areas of my life and it’s really made a difference. Whether it’s slightly weird family members or awkward coworkers, I am now able to talk to anyone I come across – no matter how different they are from me. 

Have you ever avoided talking to someone because they didn’t seem very interesting? In what ways can you experiment and try shifting the focus to the other person?

“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.” ― Marvin J. Ashton

Falling Forward: What Paintball Taught Me About Facing Adversity

A couple of weeks ago some friends and I drove up north of the city to play paintball. We met at a large property with a lot of tress and natural obstacles and got started. I had only played paintball once before and honestly I wasn’t that good. I started with a lot of confidence – gained from playing so many military video games – but when it came to actually playing, I would get scared. I would feel my heartbeat in my head as I looked around; I panicked and started to wonder where the enemy would show up.

After getting out in a few games, I realized that my inexperience had led me to form a bad habit. Because my team was regularly on the losing end, it was normal for me to be faced with two or more opponents shooting at me. I would begin to feel stressed and do something which I felt was natural: fall on my back. I would try to keep firing, but as soon as I was in this position, I would be done for.

When I had done this a few times, I started to think how I could be smarter. Falling on my back made me look weak, restricted me from moving, presented a larger target, and made me more inaccurate. Earlier in the day, however, I was faced with an opponent who – after being shot at – laid on his stomach and proceeded to get me out. All at once my military-video-game-training came back to me and I knew what I had to do. 

When I would feel overwhelmed, I needed to fall forward and go prone. 

In the military, going “prone” is simply a position where you lay on your stomach and continue to fire your weapon. This is a good position tactically because it not only makes you a smaller target, you become more accurate because you get stability from the ground.

I began to practice this new method and by the last game, going prone was the new natural reaction – and best of it all it allowed me to shoot one of my friends. It left a huge welt!

Later on when I got home, I started to think about the parallels between paintball and real life.

Like paintball, I’m often in situations where I’m feeling overwhelmed. It feels like life is teaming up on me and I worry that I’m about to get out. In these times, it feels perfectly normal to do the equivalent of falling on my back. I think I’m still in the game, but in reality I’m allowing negativity and pessimism to creep in. Even though I’m not in the best position possible, it feels like I’m being realistic. 

Like in paintball, I now believe that there’s another way to approach hard times. 

Here are 4 practical ways which I have found help me fall forward in life:

1) Understand that whenever I fall on my back, I’m making a choice. 

Beating myself up after a bad choice or just being negative or being negative feels like the natural thing to do. Everyone around me is doing it. But it’s not the only choice. There’s no reason I need to face my circumstances from a position of weakness instead of strength. This isn’t in the rule book! When I feel stressed, I can choose to double-down by becoming wiser and more strategic.

2) Assume victory, not defeat. 

When I was growing up, I often prided myself on not being optimistic or pessimistic. I transcended those states because I was a realistIn reality, I was often a pessimist who just made really good arguments about why life was bad.

I now believe that both pessimism aren’t that helpful. To me, they assume the worst. Bert Jacobs, one of the founders of the Life is Good brand, said this:

“Optimism doesn’t ignore that bad things happen. It says the best way to overcome obstacles is to focus on opportunity.”

3) Hit the pause button

I’ve been listening to a history podcast about the first World War (Link). One of the interesting aspects that the narrator explored was difference between new recruits and experienced fighters. Up until that point, most countries would typically have smaller, professional armies composed of career soldiers. But because this war started so quickly, the majority of the soldiers were actually farmers, shopkeepers, teachers, etc.. When artillery was first introduced, the shelling was so disturbing that new recruits simply ran off, unable to cope with their panic. This was at a time when simply putting a finger out of your trench would have 12 enemy guns shooting at you. Running off ended many soldiers lives. 

While most of our stresses will not involve life or death and won’t be as dramatic, there’s still a lesson to be learned. Panic is dangerous. It not only leads you to make foolish decisions, it has a way of spreading to those around you. When I’m faced with a hard circumstance, I typically just need to slow down and hit the pause button.  I typically don’t need to act at that very moment and pausing can often bring good perspective. There’s no need to make a rookie mistake that can threaten to reverse my progress.

4) Experiment

In battle, soldiers will avoid facing their opponents head on. Instead, they’ll try to get better positioning – hitting the enemy from higher ground or from the sides.When I’m stressed, it’s often because I’m trying to fight a circumstance head on. What I really need to do is to find a different positionI need to try something new.

Don’t expect to get different results by doing the same things you’ve always done.

Finding a new position also gives me more opportunities. Staying where I am is often perceived as better because I’m comfortable. But opportunities don’t just fall in my lap. I have to go after them. Occasionally something good might cross my path, but in general, I will miss out on the best that life has to offer if I just wait around scared.

Training yourself to fall forward in adverse circumstances will be difficult at first, but the more you do it, the more natural it will feel, and the more growth you’ll see.