Risk - Care - Dream - Expect MORE


I have a sign with at quote on my wall right above my work station. I look at it every single day.  When I was looking for a topic to write on today, my eyes were drawn there again.  What does it say?  "Risk more than others thing is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical.  Expect more than others things is possible." -  Claude T. Bissell, a Canadian author and educator. In this moment, the key work that pops out is MORE.

My life took a turn at age 50.  I dove into writing enthusiastically. I didn't have the experience, the training, or the industry knowledge. I had to learn all that on the fly. What I had was drive and desire.  I wanted it so bad I was willing to repeatedly bash my head against the wall, to live with making embarrassing mistakes in the public eye, and to figure out a way to move forward when I hit what seemed like impenetrable barriers. 

I wasn't Wonder Woman. I didn't grow up around people who took risks or changed directions.  It had nothing to do with temperament. I was full of self-doubt, second guessing myself all the time.  What I did have was passion and deep desire. It filled me. overwhelmed me and simply kept pushing me forward no matter what. I literally could not stop. It was what I assume addiction feels like.  I had to keep listening to others and sharing their stories. 

I was willing to risk looking bad. I wanted deeply to keep hearing people share their stories more than anything thing else in my life -well except for marrying my fabulous husband and birthing three amazing children who I couldn't be more proud of.  I cared deeply about not only hearing these stories, but giving them wings. I coined a phrase that still holds true for me today, "It is the stories of real people, living real lives, that will define our generation." Dreams of the next interview, of a new magazine to write for, of writing a book, and of being a best seller called me.  I never really thought about whether any of this was possible, I just dreamed and dreamed. And I expected if I just kept moving forward, there might be a future full of magic awaiting.

It was so weird to write that last paragraph.  A lot of the memories that arise when I think back on my early time in the industry are of the hard moments and the struggles.  But as soon as I framed my memories inside the quote - risk, care, dream, expect - my view shifted.  The high moments begin to appear - goosebumps when listening someone share their story, the joy of finishing an article/chapter, being happy with what I wrote, hearing from people say I told their story right, thanks for putting them in the spotlight and a truly high moment - holding a print copy of my first book - Life Outside the Box - for the first time.  

Risk, care, dream and expect still walk with me daily.  Every project I take on, all the writing I do, the connections I make and the future I plan are guided by these four words.  I let go of worry, although I do consider personal safety, I reach for the feeling, I let my dreams soar, and I expect whatever happens will be at the very least interesting. I never expect perfection. That is so boring. I await the unexpected, both fabulous and not so fabulous.  And I love being thrust in a new direction I couldn't even imagine.

If you are feeling weighed down and need to start reaching for a different future, try to start small. Let your imagination roam freely until one idea rises to the top. Then frame what is calling you with the guidance of the quote above.  Be willing to risk more than others feel safe to reach for it.  Care about it becoming a reality more than others think is wise. Dream about it freely in a way that makes it feel achievable. And allow yourself to expect with hope that it is possible. 


I would like to add, be open to your idea shifting in a way you can't even imagine. The future is not yet formed. Sometimes our dreams can be limited by who we are and what we know in this moment. Try not to hold onto an idea rigidly. Stay open to flowing with the current and seeing where life takes you. And along the way, try to enjoy the zigs and zags your journey offers.