Today I was listening to an interview with Lauren Gibbs a United States Olympian in the sport of Bobsled. At the age of 30 she quit her six figure paying job to spend the next 3 ½ years learning the sport of Bobsled and trying to make the 2018 Olympic team. She accomplished both and came home with a silver medal. She was the oldest on the Bobsled team and is now in training to try and make the team again in 2022. An incredible story with an even more important message.
‘What If’ she hadn’t challenged herself to take on this feat? She says that she felt something was missing from her life. Yes she had it all, a great job (that she kind of liked), she was making a lot of money, bought her dream car and had an amazing apartment. But as she said her life had no colour, it was all beige. The first time she went down the course on the bobsled she felt exhilarated, like this was the excitement she was missing. She gave it all up, sold most of her possessions including her dream car and moved into the US Olympic Training Centre in Colorado Springs to concentrate on just that one goal – making an Olympic team.
Sometimes in life we do things because we think we are supposed to do them. Like head to university after high school, get a job, build a career, get married and start a family. For most people, the life they are leading is satisfying and they are happy to stay the status quo. But ‘WHAT IF’ you did more of the things you love doing? ‘WHAT IF’ you felt that something was missing? Would you take a leap of faith like Lauren and just try? As she said, “The fear of regret, of not trying was scarier than the fear of failure”.
I can kind of relate to her story. If I hadn’t gone to that first Talent Search day held by Paralympics Australia way back in 2005, even though I was about 24 years older than the oldest person there, I wouldn’t have been to 2 Paralympic games. My life certainly wouldn’t have been as exciting and amazing as it has been in the last 15 years.
With the new year upon us I challenge you to think about your ‘WHAT IF’S’.
What If – you started writing that book you’ve always wanted to write?
What If – you started on that gym program?
What If – you enrolled in the language course you’ve always thought about doing?
What If – you took that cooking course you’ve been thinking of?
What If – you took that art class you’ve always wanted to do?
What If – you decided to apply for that dream job you saw advertised?
Don’t get to the end of 2021 with any regrets of not doing more of the things you love doing or want to start doing. I’m not saying you have to quit your job to try and become an Olympian as Lauren did, but be as she was, more afraid of regrets than fear of failure. 2020 was a year of loss and sadness lets use 2021 to be the year of following your passion!
The following two quotes come to mind:
“If you feel like there’s something out there that you’re supposed to be doing,
if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it.” ~ Wanda Sykes
“It’s better to shoot and miss, then to let time run out and wonder what if” ~ Michael Jordan