The very idea of mediocrity sends my creative endorphins into convulsions. Even when excellence remains elusive, the possible moves the needle on my fuel gauge.
Imagine being seated at a fine eating establishment and the waiter, dressed in black and white, with a bow tie shows up at your table with a microwave oven on a rolling cart. No need for a menu as there are only half a dozen items to choose from. Frozen concoctions, loaded with ingredients you can’t possibly pronounce. Delicious, but not nutritious sounds about right.
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Just because it’s unheard of doesn’t mean it’s unthinkable. In recent years I have added a few meals to my repertoire but, I’m not likely to host my own cooking show. My talents are clearly not culinary. That really doesn’t prohibit me from strapping on an apron and improvising when the mood strikes. Measuring cups are optional.
The failure rate for new restaurants is staggering. Failure is a good thing to study, especially if you want to fail. Figuring out what caused the few successes might be a more beneficial exploration.
What is it that we really want? Why don’t we have it? if it’s what we want more than anything. Fast, convenient, and readily available just might be the last thing we need. It’s more than probable that the idea and ingredients bouncing around inside you is the actual recipe to feed you for life. Home cooking has always been less risky.
I study achievers, not to duplicate them, as I don’t desire to be them. But to see if they have something I can use to be the best me I can be. It’s all too easy to lose uniqueness in duplication. There are plenty of resources available to enhance originality when we keep our focus on getting out what is inside of us rather than trying to get something we think we don’t have.
Most people crave safety. Which leads to risk aversion, which immobilizes the heartiest of dreams, leaving the vast majority with underutilized wings. We flirt with destiny without ever saying “I Do.” Taking the plunge is the only way to get wet. Is having to dry off with a towel that life-threatening? So what if it didn’t work the first time around?
Sir Ken Robinson, the British author, and international advisor on education states, “creativity is as important as literacy.” He further elaborates, “we stigmatize mistakes.” Caution is good when it’s appropriate. Nurturing the fear of failure can lead to an actual condition called “atychiphobia” which is when we allow fear to stop us from doing things that can move us forward.
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Thomas Edison failed miserably before successfully creating the light bulb. The debate about how many times he failed ranges from one thousand to ten thousand times. When questioned about his failed attempts he replied, “I have not failed. I’ve just discovered 10,000 ways that didn’t work.”
While not trying might offer some notion of avoiding the pain of failure, I contend, it’s not capable of soothing a life not given permission to try. The list of men and women who didn’t allow failure to stop them is substantial. Vincent Van Gogh, for one, only sold one painting in his lifetime even though he painted over 900 works of art. Today, he is considered one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of western art.
External approval is chump-change compared to the value of self-acceptance. None of us should yield to wishful thinking, relegate ourselves to the grandstands to watch others live their lives. Every living soul has an invitation to fulfillment.
HAVE IT YOUR WAY
My grandboy, Jaden, is eight years old. He’s become a little opportunistic with his kisses. Typical for a boy his age but, none of us like it very much. His mother was trying to get a kiss before she left for work the other day and he wasn’t having it. She asked, why won’t you kiss me? My kisses are for papa, he said. My ears perked up! I’m your mother, I gave you life, you kiss me, she lamented. He said, but you’re just regular, papa is grand, as in grandfather. I wasn’t about to correct him. It was all in good fun.
We will never know how grand our idea, dream or mission is if we think of them as regular, ordinary, or not worthy. That fluttering of intuition, that little voice inside, that thing that won’t go away might be more than you realize. Everyone has something that is uniquely their’s. I encourage you to go for it! As many times as it takes.
After months of testing the idea in select markets, in February of 2016, Burger King made the decision to add wieners to their menu. What? The Home of the Whopper is going to adulterate itself with hot dogs? Say it ain’t so! This isn’t the first try. Burger King had hot dogs back in the seventies. If at first, you don’t succeed…
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I won’t get into their in-house master plan, which is quite savvy. But, I do want to talk about the decision. It’s BOLD, to say the least. To be known for one thing and recreate yourself into something else is a lesson for us all. There is more than one way to skin a cat… or capture a percentage of over 20 billion hot dogs sold annually in the US alone.
The longing for success that resides inside each of us needs a chance. Dust it off, reshape it if you have to, just set it free. We are all presently writing a chapter in our life story. We can launch into our possibilities, revisit past ambitions, or rethink discounted inclinations. We wouldn’t be considering it if we couldn’t do it. We cannot know the reception to our Frankfurter until we serve it on a bun.
The message from the King (burger king) is clear, you’ll never know if you don’t try!
What dream are you sitting on?
You can catch my weekly online TV show “Rick on Life” at http://www.TLBTV.com every Sunday 12:00 PM CST. Past shows are available on demand. After you get to the page just click the media tab.
Pick up a copy of my book If Only I Had A Dad: Finding Freedom From Fatherlessness, available on Amazon.