Taking the road less traveled: Always forward, never backwards

Taking the road less traveled: Always forward, never backwards
Always forward, never backwards

Why do we hold ourselves back? I’ve always wondered why. Why do some people make millions every year managing giant corporations while others struggle to pay for food and rent? Why do some people work at jobs they hate, while others start their own billion dollar businesses?

I’ve thought a lot about these questions, and I’m going to give a straight answer. I really do think the greatest obstacle to our success is ourselves. We hold ourselves back, we all do, we’re afraid of taking the plunge, afraid of losing face, afraid of failure. If you can change your mentality so that you can become a do-er than nothing will stop you.

I remember when I was about 12 my mom was taking me to the art gallery. When we got there it was quite cold, (it was winter in Germany,after all) and there was a crowd of people outside. I looked at the time and the gallery was supposed to be open, so I wasn’t going to stand outside waiting. My mother suggested we wait with the people because they were probably in line for a reason. Well, I was cold, and I didn’t want to be at the gallery in the first place so the sooner we got in the sooner I would get to leave. Sure enough, I walk to the door in front of a line of 15 or so people. I walk up to the door and sure enough, it’s open, I begin to walk inside my mother and father following, the looks on the faces of those who were waiting in the cold were amazing. How could a 12-year-old figure out something we couldn’t?

Well, the answer is simply because I tried. I took the plunge. What was the worst that was going to happen? I would have to go to the back of the line and wait, but because I seized the opportunity because I took the path that nobody else would I got inside into the warmth before anyone else.

This simple lesson would resonate with me throughout my life. There have been countless situations where I just go for it because nobody else will. I’m sure we’ve all been in a group where nobody wants to speak, or been in a class where nobody wants to answer the question or had a crush we don’t want to ask out. The reason we fail is because we don’t seize those opportunities, and I’m not saying just because you do something you’ll succeed, but in the words of Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

My experience tells me that being the person who talks first in a group will get you noticed. People enjoy someone who is confident (not cocky) and somebody who is able to take charge, and if you’re trying to impress someone or get that promotion, taking that initiative and taking the plunge will get you noticed. It shows that you’re willing to be different and unique and that you’re the driven person who will get stuff done.

Even if you’re not trying to get a promotion, just doing it can help you in all aspects of your life, if you want to ask somebody out- just do it- you won’t know unless you try . The point is unless you try you’ll never know what you could've done. Sure you might fail but in my opinion, failure only makes you stronger and better. It’s not the failures that define you it’s how you react to them. If you ask anybody who is at the top the way they got there is through just trying, many, many, many times and after many failures finding a success.

I know sometimes it can be hard to put this mindset into practice which is why I remember one simple quote: “Always Forwards, Never Backwards”. No matter what happens or what has happened you just got to do it. You have to push forward, push yourself to do things outside your comfort zone. For me pushing myself beyond my comfort zone meant going from a strange nerdy boy to someone who actually talks to people, who engages people, who innovates, as silly as it seems for me making friends was taking the plunge. So no matter what you’re working on in life, just remember to take the plunge, just do it don’t hold back, Always Forwards, Never Backwards, and maybe you too can open the door to a world of endless opportunity.

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