Does greatness require letting go of your safety net?

February 20, 2012 by Joshua
in Awareness, Blog, Leadership

I’ve struggled with some questions for a while.

What enables greatness? Do you need to let go of your safety net to become great?

We all know stories of people who sacrificed everything sensible to reach greatness. They sold all their possessions and went to Hollywood. They practiced day and night for years, sacrificing fun times. They gave up on promising careers to reach their dreams.

If you jump a motorcycle over the Grand Canyon, you don’t want to wind up short of the landing ramp. But if you love jumping far and you don’t try to jump as far as you can, what have you achieved?

For some people these questions don’t matter. They don’t know what they love or they don’t mind abandoning their dreams.

Those of us who consider achieving greatness face a decision. Should we go all in and do what it takes to make it big or should we play it safe, bide our time, and hope a better opportunity will come along to succeed without taking such a big risk? Is letting go of the safety net necessary?

I don’t have an answer to this question. Part of me wants to know counterexamples — people who excelled without taking big risks — but part of me doesn’t. We all know we could achieve more by sacrificing more. The question is, do we believe what we can achieve is enough to make the sacrifice worth it?

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1 response to “Does greatness require letting go of your safety net?

  1. Pingback: Leadership lessons from method acting » Joshua Spodek

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