Crazy May Make Me or Kill Me
This morning I picked up on a Tweet from @tedmurphy via @benspark‘s reply Tweet, and based on his quick 140-character-or-less review decided to go see what article he was talking about. It turns out Technosailor.com had an article up (about 10 pages, it’s a lot longer for a blog post, but average for a decent article that fully addresses a topic) called “8 Traits of Highly Effective Influencers.” There is much wisdom to be read there, but it made me decide to post about something important to me: craziness. Not your psychosis, mental illness, not-to-be-taken-lightly craziness. This is no medical condition, to my knowledge.
The type of craziness I’m talking about is this urge I get sometimes to do something hard, strange, or silly, often times in public – for the sake of what I call “greatness.” I don’t do the things I do to be anyone else’s hero. I do it because at the end of the day, I’ve got a great story to tell about my life. I don’t want to die one day with no interesting stories for people to tell about me, or with no great memories to cherish when I’m old.
Remember that movie with Ewan MacGregor, Big Fish? The man’s father had some pretty tall tales to tell. I’ll probably tell my stories to my kids and grandkids with as much enthusiasm and grandure, whether they’re accurate or not. What do you call that sort of thing? Is it bravado? Is it pride, or compensating that makes me want to do some of the things that I do? Some people would say I’m not all that adventurous or crazy, that I’m sheltered and don’t take many risks.
Weekend before last, I did a few things that activated the “crazy” gene that often times ends in complete embarassment or smashing victory. Flirting with the girl at the bowling alley that was, by all means aesthetically speaking, out of my league is one example. Even though I didn’t have the success I was looking for, there was that certain “take the plunge” feeling that came from that experience. Every time I respond to that feeling, the obvious rewards or losses are secondary – the real sense of accomplishment is the high I’m after.
I want to challenge my friends and relatives that read this to “take the plunge.” Get up on the stage at that biker bar, like I did at Annie’s the other weekend, and sing karaoke. Even if no one is paying attention, or you don’t exactly rock the house, you’re up there when even a regular to the bar says “you’d sooner see me up on this table nekkid dancin’ than you would see me up on that stage.” As a caveat, I’m not saying you should exclude good judgement and safety.
I’m just saying there are times when you have to leap and hope to God you can fly, or that there’s something soft to land on. How much in your life is just sitting there waiting, and the only thing stopping you from being a smashing success is your willingness to give it a go?
It’s never too late for a new resolution, it doesn’t have to be a New Year’s thing – and more often than not people give up on those anyway. I’m resolving to try, at least once a week (and without beating myself up if I forget) to try and do something that scares the bejeezus out of me or that I’ve been putting off doing or trying for no particular reason at all. If you want to do this with me, that’s cool. Be sure to share your experiences some how – Twitter, comments below, your own blog – just let people share in what you’ve done. You may be inspiring others to their own plunges, and their own victories.