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Step up to the challenge

January 2, 2021
Leadership Advisory
“You’ve got to get to the stage in life where going for it is more important than winning or losing.”
– Arthur Ashe

During a short visit aboard the USS Enterprise Aircraft Carrier, I met Captain Duke, a twenty-three year old female Marine F-18 fighter pilot. She is fast talking and extremely articulate with a ruddy complexion, piercing eyes and an impressive command of the skills and rigors of a fighter pilot. When asked how the Marines taught her to land an F-18 Hornet on the deck of an aircraft carrier, she replied, “They didn’t. They taught me how to fly my plane; the first time I landed on a carrier was the first time I had ever seen an aircraft carrier.” Captain Duke had learned to fly her plane, but when it came to successfully landing on a moving ship that was being tossed around by open seas, she just had to go for it.

Do you have what it takes go for it? Are you confidently sharing your ideas with others, pursuing your goals and dreams, and embracing that which you have been training and preparing for? If not, what are you waiting for?

Having the personal commitment and determination to follow your gut and step up in life has never been more important than it is right now. Every day I hear people talking about these difficult economic times and wondering how they will be impacted personally. Will they be able to meet last year’s goals? Will they have a job? Where can we cut cost? The questions seem to be endless. I understand the concern, but we are putting ourselves at the risk of failure if we lose sight of what is possible. In my observation, it is during times like these that new opportunities are discovered. Whatever difficulties or fears you are experiencing right now might provide just what you’ve needed to reach deep within yourself and pursue new opportunities or make long overdue changes.

Here are a few action steps to get you going in the right direction:

  1. Make your fear work for you. No one wants to be afraid and I’m certainly not recommending it. However, fear can be a great motivator to take positive actions for making things better.
  2. Write down the future you want. How you think about the future shapes your lifestyle tomorrow. It is important that you not allow the urgency and crisis of today rob you of the energy and ingenuity you need to create the life you desire.
  3. Expect new opportunities to emerge. When things get tough it is very easy to miss opportunities that are right in front of you. If you are focusing on how difficult things are you are at risk of impairing your ability to see opportunities.
  4. Go for it! When you have an idea or feel the time is right to take a specific course of action, don’t over think and analyze it, go for it. Remember the words of Arthur Ashe, “You’ve got to get to the stage in life where going for it is more important than winning or losing.”

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