I Took The Shot
Only a week ago, my son played a podcast for me. It was Tim Ferriss interviewing Jamie Foxx. It was fascinating. I had never heard of a podcast before. And I loved it.
“How do I hear more?” I asked my son, Jesse. “This is really amazing.”
He tapped some buttons and many more podcasts showed up. I clicked on another interview. I couldn’t stop. Once I figured out how to get it back going when I had stopped it, I was good to go.
Since then, (I can’t believe it’s only been a week), I have been listening to podcasts whenever I’m in my car. I am fascinated by people’s stories, their insights, and what they have accomplished. I still don’t know understand how the podcasts keep playing even when there’s no wife, but I’ve given up trying to understand. Who cares how? As long as it plays……
One story in particular keeps repeating in my brain. It was by an athlete who was feeling ashamed for missing a crucial shot in a championship game. His team, father and coach blamed him for losing. He felt terrible and was sitting in his room, alone and ashamed. All of a sudden, a little voice said to him, “you took the shot.” That’s right, he thought. I took the shot. I didn’t have to, but I went for it. So what if I missed? And his whole perspective on life shifted.
And mine did too. That story has become my theme whenever I’m thinking of NOT doing something for fear of looking stupid, not getting it right, or getting rejected.
At work when I don’t want to make a phone call to a prospect or client, I “take the shot.” Who cares what they say? It’s about going beyond what I want to do and staying in action.
One of the podcasts was an interview with Arianna Huffington. I was blown away by her honesty, courage, and willingness to do what others weren’t. At the end of the podcast, she gave out her email, against the advice of Tim Ferriss.
I pulled off the road and typed it into my phone, knowing I wouldn’t remember it.
“Do I dare contact her?” I asked myself. The question kept repeating in my head.
I was going out to California for a program where I was leading an inquiry on “Saying What Can’t Be Said.” Perfect, I thought. I started telling people that I was going to send Arianna an email by the end of the weekend. They were encouraging. In the past, I would never have even told anyone I was thinking about doing it, let alone actually sending it.
Sunday I sat down with a beer before my flight and typed out an email. Before I could chicken out, I pressed SEND.
I felt exhilarated. Even though I was sure she wouldn’t answer. Even though a fellow course participant told me that Jimmy Carter didn’t even look at him when he signed his book at a book signing 40 or so years ago in an effort to keep my expectations low. Even though my self-protecting brain told me not to get my hopes up.
I took the shot and I felt great having done it.
That was Sunday. Last night was Wednesday night. I checked my emails on the way into my seminar. Tears filled my eyes as I saw an email from Arianna Huffington. I blinked several times, trying to see what she wrote:
‘Many thanks for your email dear Hilary. I would love for you to write for Thrive Global and share your story. To get started, please take a look at our guidelines and start contributing. All the best, Arianna’
I couldn’t believe it. I was in shock. I shared it with my friends. They were inspired.
And then I started worrying about what this meant, could I do it, did she really mean it, etc. And I couldn’t sleep last night.
But in the light of day, I decided to ignore my thoughts. Take another shot. What can I lose?
So I created a profile on her site. I created this new blog. I’ve already written two entries. And, before I go to sleep, I am going to write a story for Arianna’s web site, even though I don’t know how. Why not?
And for the first time in a long time, I’m excited about life. I am creating what I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but didn’t have the guts.
And now I know, I just take need to keep taking the shots. Even if I miss, the excitement is in the taking of it.
Thanks for listening.