A couple of years ago I was driving along with someone on the way to a karaoke party. I was trying to decide whether or not to go up on stage and embarrass myself. It was something I really didn’t want to do. But it was something I’d never done, and wasn’t 100% positive I would hate or suck at. I was 99.99999% sure, but not having done it…
Part way there, the words “Why not?” just popped into my head. It wouldn’t kill me. I might suck, I might get embarrassed, but why not? Then I took it a step further, why not say “Why not?” to everything, just make the conscious decision to say “Yes” to almost every opportunity to try something new that presents itself to me.
There’s some exceptions that I’ve pre-programmed into the equation. I’ve already jumped out of airplanes. I know I don’t like heights. No need to go bungee jumping anytime soon. Don’t need to break laws or hurt anybody. Goofy stuff like that.
It’s been good for me. I’ve gotten past a lot of my fears and insecurities. And built up this catalog of experiences that give me strength and confidence to draw upon when I’m feeling nervous.
A couple of months ago my son came home with a hickey. He’s got his first girlfriend. We’ve had numerous talks about sex, protection, love and dating. We’ve had talks that probably seem old fashioned today, about his responsibilities to protect the girls who go on dates with him. But we hadn’t had a discussion about protecting their reputations yet. So we had one.
I was telling a friend about it a couple days later and she said something about how I should do a TED talk about it. I can’t say that I’d ever considered something like that before, and I kind of laughed it off and promptly forgot about it. Yesterday, I was screwing around on facebook and an ad popped up in my feed to apply to audition for the TEDx Mile High talks. So I did.