I originally posted this in November of 2012. I’m re-posting it now because the person who inspired me to write these words passed away last week. Coleman was funny, kind and willing to give of himself to help others and that’s saying something in this world. When we met in 2000 he was a source of encouragement to me and sought me out to do just that. Over the years we encouraged each other and then eventually it was me encouraging him. After a meeting where we discussed life, it’s difficulties and it’s possibilities I went home but I could not get these words out of my head.
Today we said goodbye, but not really, it’s so long until we meet again. Coleman will certainly be missed, but his legacy – at least for me – is to quit waiting around. Stop thinking that you have to have it all together or that you have to load your toolbox with all the experts before you follow your passion. Time waits for none of us, just go do it! Coleman was 42 years old.
For the next few weeks I’ll post messages that I find especially encouraging. These are words that I feel are either tapping me on the shoulder or calling my name and I’m hopeful that they speak to you as well. I went back to find this message that I originally penned as a source of encouragement to others, but it jumped all over me instead. You’ll be able to read as usual, but you’ll also be able to listen to this message. I like to do both at the same time, but I’m funny that way. I hope you enjoy it.
This past week I had what I call a mastermind session with an old friend of mine. It’s when two or more gather to share and encourage each other and I highly recommend it. I’m sharing this conversation with his permission, because I felt that someone could benefit from it.
We wound up talking about dreams and it was refreshing. However, it’s tough to talk honestly about dreams without eventually getting to what’s blocking your path. He – like so many of us – at times felt stuck pondering his next move, his next step. He felt that he needed to be “the best” before he could move at all. It’s a common notion that has imprisoned many of us. But I’ve learned over the years that anything that’s worth doing, anything that has value, should come with a willingness to be really bad at it initially. In fact, it’s okay if you are terrible at it. Just keep working at it until you’re not quite as terrible. Do it long enough and it’ll become something you become comfortable doing, and only at that point will mastery pay you a visit.
While talking to my friend, something happened with me – it’s happened quite often. I recognized that the message I was delivering was also the message I needed to hear. Ladies and gentlemen, contrary to popular opinions, perfection is really not an option. And that’s for anyone wanting meaningful success, whether it’s in business or one’s personal life. Research the life of anyone who went anywhere and you’ll find setbacks – some huge. They are simply stepping stones to learn from. Nothing more.
In talking with my friend, I wound up having a chat with Greg. I’m reminding myself and some of you to have the attitude of a child who’s learning to walk or ride a bike for the first time. Be willing to fall forward and when you fall – because we all do – brush it off and get right back up. Before long, you’ll be walking and riding well without any thought at all.
There are a couple of things you’ll need to forget along the way. Forget about what anybody else thinks. Remember it’s not their dream to begin with. And forget about how. Don’t be concerned with figuring it all out. After you do your homework, just get on the bike and go – you’ll get better along the way. Be open to whatever God has in store for you – much of which we’ll never see until we push through whatever test is set before us.
I left that session with my friend inspired, not because I heard anything new or shared something that was earthshaking. My mom told me many times, “Boy, there’s nothing new!” and she’s right. It was because I was alive with possibilities.
There are a couple of points I’d like to leave you with. First, the importance of dreams – we need them. Keep yours close. Nurture them and allow them to motivate you. The second point is the significance of support. Be a source of support first. You’ll wind up encouraging yourself along the way. And make a habit of reaching out to someone with an uplifting spirit, just to talk, not necessarily to solve the problems of the world or all of your problems. Keep yourself in the company of people who are going somewhere.
I’m Greg Gaines and I trust this message reaches you with your dreams still breathing. And if by chance they are not, find others. God has plenty of them for you. Just get on your bike and ride and in no time at all, it’ll be “Look Dad! No hands!”
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