Nothing of consequence gets accomplished without courage. You can’t educate the poor without making difficult choices. Without giving up some portion of your own privilege. You can’t be a good basketball player without being willing to look stupid. You can’t heal your church without sacrificing your own career. You can’t even drive a car properly unless you are willing to acknowledge that you sometimes make mistakes. The path to a better world is hard. What is bad is when we ignore everything that history is trying to tell us.
Those aren’t my words- they’re from Malcolm Gladwell at the end of the first season of his podcast Revisionist History. It’s a storytelling podcast that talks about various situations that have played out and how it relates to today. The takeaway is what struck a chord with me. If you haven’t listened to this show I would encourage everyone to add this to their subscribed podcasts and to share it with their friends. It’s really quite fantastic.
This takeaway really means something to me and to the mission that I’m working toward with Yes, Louisville. Inspiring action in a world full of ideas. You see, there are consequences to any action that you take. Investing time in a passion takes time away from something else. Putting money into something takes funding from another project. Our resources are finite. And the greatest resource we have is time.
Herein lies the issue. We don’t want to give up anything. Many people are happy living their lives, working to make a living, working to have stuff, go on vacation, play video games. And we don’t want to give any of that up to chase the things that would really fulfill us. Starting anything new and different is hard. It’s really hard. But you know what is worse than giving up comfort? Living in regret.
What is something that you want but have been sitting on the fence about? What will it take to get you to make the jump, to invest the time, to invest the emotion, to invest the money? Are you willing to live with the “what if” if you never take that step? Remember- the first step is really the hardest. The rest will fall into place.