As I look back on the first half of 2018, I realize it has had some of my highest highs and my lowest lows. It has been one of the best years. And one of the hardest. And with these new extremes, I’m ready to kick it up a notch again. As I look back, I realize that maybe it’s not about highs and lows, but about side to side. This is the pendulum of life.
A pendulum is an object hung from a point that swings freely back and forth. The further you pull the object, the further it swings on the other side. When you pull a pendulum it will swing back to the same degree on the opposite side. What if this pendulum represented your life? Most of us live in the bottom middle of the arc. A little swing back and forth. Maybe it doesn’t move at all. You don’t have failure or risk but you also don’t have reward or fulfillment. Not very exciting. You’ve heard of the messy middle. This is it. The middle of the arc represents playing it safe. It’s the mundane of each day. And if you are good with this to and fro, then by all means, stay where you are. But my guess is that many of you are desiring something bigger. More happiness. More excitement. Bigger rewards. More success. All of those big wonderful things are on the far side of the pendulum. And unfortunately, a pendulum doesn’t swing only one way. You need to pull to the other side.
On one extreme of the pendulum are the big risks, It’s the hard stuff. It’s disappointment. Perhaps criticism. It’s the hustle. And it’s where you need to go to get to the other side. On the other end of the pendulum are the big rewards, the highest achievements. That’s where your big hairy audacious goals get filled. In order to get to that side, you have to be willing to pull the pendulum.
Ask any billionaire how many failures he has had and I’m pretty sure it will be equally matched to his successes. Ask any hall of fame athlete about his strikeouts and missed shots and they will tell you that they are connected. Your deepest relationships have risk of heart break. It’s not an accident or a fluke. Yes that can happen but that is not what you want to bet on. Bet on working as big as you want your successes to be. For every great success, there is probably a failure on the other side.
This is the rhythm of life. It’s in nature. It’s everywhere. There is light and dark. Yin and Yang. Day and night. In breath and out breath. Rise and fall. I’m afraid that we often fail to go after our biggest dreams, our big goals, our big vision because we have an equal and matching opposite fear of failure. Of loss. So, we stay in the bottom of the swing. The boring back and forth. If you want something better, bigger, in your life, then pull the pendulum back farther.
I want you to take action. It’s not that we all need to be best selling authors or athletes or entrepreneurs. Just find your best life and move towards it. How many people stay in a job that they don’t care for because it’s safe? It’s secure. You could start your own business. But then you have risk of failure. So what! You’ll learn and you’ll get back up again. Don’t let fear hold you back. Fear is just False Evidence Appearing Real. Every time you fail, you become stronger for the next time. When you do something hard, it becomes easier the next time. I am going to swing that pendulum high. And I hope you do too!