A few days ago, my family adopted a puppy. It’s been five years since we’ve had a dog, so we’ve had some adjusting to do. As we’ve worked to teach the puppy commands over the past few days, I’ve learned something very important from this new addition to the family. It’s interesting how we prep to teach lessons to other, but they end up teaching us in the process.
One morning, I worked on getting our new puppy to come to me when I called. Every time I yelled, “Come,” she would start trotting to me, but would immediately see a stick and off she’d run in our backyard. “Okay, let’s start over,” I’d think and we’d repeat the process. While she’s getting better at coming when called (I think she’s mostly just learning her name), she never passes up the opportunity to seize a stick when she sees one.
This immediately reminded me of myself when I was younger. When I wanted to do something, I simply did it. My best friend and I wanted to go to the beach for a weekend . . . we went. I wanted to go for a day drive to another state . . . I went. I wanted to start an editing business, while going through my Master’s program, I did and kept it going for seven years. As I got older, I’ve learned to think things through, plan, and assess, but I noticed something. While I learned to carefully plan and consider all possibilities, I eventually talked myself out of some really great ideas. With each new “what if” that popped into my head, more fear crept in as well. Unlike our new puppy, I forgot how to GO FOR IT. I’m sure many of you have done the same.
There’s nothing wrong with careful planning. It’s important to research, ask questions, and think of everything that could go wrong in order to come up with alternatives; however, it should never prevent us from following our dreams and achieving our goals. It’s the start of a new year and a new decade; many people choose their words for the year and some even choose biblical verses to guide them. However, allow me to bless you with a challenge phrase for 2020:
GO FOR IT!
That book you’ve been wanting to write – Go for it.
That vacation you’ve been wanting to take – Go for it.
That business you’ve wanted to start – Go for it.
That degree you’ve wanted to get – Go for it.
Let 2020 be the year that you go for what you want. Acknowledge the fear, but don’t let it stop you. There will be successes and failures – those are inevitable – but you’ll never truly know what your future holds until you try some things. If you were given a vision, then you were also given the tools to make it happen. So, go for it!
Keep moving forward, enjoy the ride, and Happy New Year!