Look at my ever-growing list of leapers. Many there, if not all, never thought about leaping. They just did it. No self-help books. No long discussions with a life coach. They did it because they needed to.
Who needs to leap?
Everyone needs to leap. Everyone. What chasm is between you and where you know you need to be I can't say. That leap might be as common as asking the girl you love to marry you. Or it could be going to college even though all your friends will stay in the same small town thinking about, as Bruce Springsteen calls them, glory days. That's fine for them, but you want more. You want to explore the world. You've got to leave Dodge to see it.
Anyone who has a dream needs to leap. Anyone. Dreams are not as clear as, say, Martin Luther King Jr.,s "I have a dream" dream. It could be you've got a skill writing or doing art, but you always take the safe route. If so, ask yourself if your dream is real or if you just like saying you are working on something.
A leaper is noble, doing the right thing for the right reasons, come what may. From those who leap, we find heroes and legends. Songs are sung about leapers. Buildings are named after them. Sometimes. You have to be ready for the opposite, and have no delusion that if you risk yourself, you may not win the hero's return.
Leapers aren't safe. Some end up martyrs. Missionaries and explorers leave the comfort of home to go to the great unknown.
Salman Rushdie faced a death threat from Muslim extremists after publishing The Satanic Verses. Within a small passage, Rushdie wrote something offensive to some Muslims, and Ayatollah Khomeini, Supreme Leader of Iran who issued the fatwa effectively sentencing him to death. Thankfully, most Muslims who may or may not have been offended chose to let freedom of speech rule than one man's bloodthirsty fury.
Leapers do things that they may be afraid to do. They are bold, leaping when others walk, jumping when others step, and speaking loudly when others whisper.
Leapers fail. They strike out while swinging for the fence. They go bankrupt. Some become famous like Babe Ruth or Richard Branson. Many don't become success stories and wind up working jobs they hate.
Leapers can be ostracized. A true visionary is more than talk. He does something. He chases that vision. He may be lampooned for his ideas, or worse, run out of town. Some are burned at the stake.
Every moment is unknown. Every consequence is unknown. You might have a great guess, but confirmation only happens after it become true.
Are you willing to take that risk?
Leap into the unknown.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
– Mark Twain
To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
- Steve Prefontaine