Where's Your Road

Setting your life's GPS to "Go"…

Are You Learning How To Fall?

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting across the table from one of my clients. She, like many others, is going back to school. Not necessarily a traditional student, and not necessarily pursuing a traditional degree. Instead, it made more sense to pursue a certification; one she’s been working on through her experiences for years without knowing it. Now, fully aware of where her experiences are taking her, she is moving forward on her journey to expand her professional horizons. You only learn how to fall if you stretch yourself, take a step, and move forward.

Here’s the interesting facet of her journey: she’s still learning and isn’t fully confident of her amazing abilities. And yet, she’s pressing on. All at once, she is failing and falling towards her next success. The self-help gurus will tell you success is not possible without the parameters of taking action and failing forward. My client is the epitome of those philosophies as she tells me how much she is learning, how lost she is in the material, and yet, how determined she is to succeed. We all can take a lesson from my client’s experiences. Sometimes, we may play it a little safe, claiming the status quo is good enough for the moment. But if we don’t stretch our wings, are we ever truly learning – or, living?!

I’m fortunate enough to have the opportunity to teach a class as a corporate trainer a few times a year. I impress upon the students that tackling the subject matter and experiences is a challenge, but in the end, by accepting the challenge they will be better for it. The same goes for me in terms of teaching the course; I have to stretch beyond my comfort zone to present the material to a live audience. I suppose if I taught more frequently, it would be less of a stretch. Each class is different – presenting different conversation points, response levels, and questions from the students. What if I can’t answer their questions correctly? What if I can’t build the credibility of the material? What if I just plain can’t hold their attention? Well, I guess I’ll learn from the experience to make me a better facilitator for the next time. More importantly, I’ll never know or learn if I don’t try.

Today is National Lifelong Learning Day. I don’t know the history of the day, or its celebration. However, I truly believe in the spirit of the idea! Why?! Because so often the mentality in the naivety of youth is that once you complete your school days, or “daze” as it may be, you are done with the learning process. On the contrary, as we find out with the passing of time, your learning may just be starting when you leave school behind. As my client, my students, and I find out as we fall, fail, and move forward, there is no other way to learn or succeed.

Are Your Dreams Catching Fire?


Have you ever experienced that moment? The moment where motivation & action collide? Its combustible, isn’t it?! And, also, fleeting. Sometimes, you wonder if it’s ever going to happen; and sometimes, you’re afraid it’s already passed you by. Are your dreams so big and the tasks so many that you are suffering from Analysis Paralysis even though you want to chase your dreams? How do you harness the fire inside to help you reach your goals?

The first step is to take action. Even if your goals & dreams seem miles away, and those first small steps seem insignificant on the path, you need to take those first steps. Why? Because taking any action is better than not taking action. Taking those first seemingly small steps towards your goals helps build your confidence. Nothing builds your self-esteem & confidence like achievement. You may miss-fire on your first, second, sixth, or one-hundred-and-sixth attempt, but making those attempts & taking those chances will help you learn what to do – and, also what not to do – to start achieving your goals. Believe it or not, both results are part of your learning progression & plan to move forward.

Even if your dreams take years to achieve, you’ll never get any nearer to them if you don’t start. It was explained to me something like this, years ago, when I was considering pursuing an MBA:

I could either take classes or not. Either way, two years from now, in all likelihood,

I would still be sitting in the same spot, having a good time with friends,

with or without an MBA.

Apply that same philosophy to your goals and dreams: whether or not you take those initial steps, you’ll still have the same friends and be doing some of the same things. BUT, by pursuing your goals & dreams by taking action, you will get greater joy out of living life.

Taking those first steps does something else for you – it adds more fuel to the fire of your motivation. Your motivation compounds or multiplies with every step you take. It can become contagious & addictive in a positive way, creating even more fire towards your goals. You will soon want to take the next step.

The fire inside grows as you make even small steps on your journey. It will be your ally that will see you through the wrong steps, miss-steps, or backwards steps you experience along the way. The beauty of the process is those miscalculated steps become great lessons learned as you move forward; they become the reward for action taken towards your dream life. Eventually, you will be able to look at your journey in retrospect to see just how far you’ve come!

The best thing you can do is catch your fire. Let your dreams and goals catch your fire of motivation, effort, and action. Once they do, you may not be able to contain it! AND, you’ll experience the thrill of taking action & accomplishing even the smallest of milestones, you will find the momentum will carry you beyond your wildest imagination…