Earlier this week, on route to my parent’s house, I saw a seagull casually walking down the road. He didn’t look as if he had just landed, or like he was about to take flight. He simply looked like he had just decided to have a nice walk along the pavement to enjoy the sunshine. There were no other seagulls around and for that matter, no other people or cars in sight, except for us. The scene just seemed so very random and out of place and for that reason captured and held my attention and thoughts for a while.
We would probably typically think of seagulls being by the sea, at the beach, swooping around overhead in flocks, making loud calling noises to each other, or maybe gently bobbing around on the sea waves, or even landing nearby and boldly edging closer when they think they’re in with a chance of stealing our piping hot fish and chips!
But not this one. He’d broken free, if only for a short time, from the ‘normality’, from the expectation of everyday life and he’s got me thinking several times this week. How often do we get drawn into merely doing life, day in, day out, according to expectation, according what is ‘normal’ and according to what others think we should be doing? And how often do we step outside of our routines, of what is ‘normal’ and of what is expected? There is a song my Dad and I used to love and laugh about, ‘Sunscreen’ which has a line in it, ‘Do one thing every day that scares you’. We so should!
A friend of mine this week read a fabulous book I have read many times and love titled ‘If You Want To Walk On Water, You’ve Got To Get Out Of The Boat!’ which is true. If we want to, even occasionally, step outside of the ‘norm’ and do something different, something challenging, something crazy, something amazing, then we need to be prepared to take the risks that go with it. The risk of looking silly, the risk of making a mistake, the risk of failure, the risk of letting ourselves down, the risk of feeling silly, of standing out, the risk of feeling other people’s thoughts towards what we do. But. There is also the potential, the possibility of success. The possibility of doing and achieving and experiencing something great and beautiful and even, life-changing.
Another friend of mine has a few times talked about wanting to learn to deep sea dive. I love the sea, love water, love swimming and it’s something I’ve often thought would be amazing to do. We caught up a couple of weeks ago and she told us she had booked herself on a weeks open water diving course in Egypt at the end of that week. She went by herself, had a fabulous time, passed her diving qualification, and the photographs of the shoals of fish and corals and underwater scenes are just breathtaking. I am so in awe of the way she is able to throw caution to the wind and achieve her ambitions and dreams in life. This little story is only a tiny reflection of the way she sees opportunities and throws herself into them, realising the risks but being willing to take them nevertheless. And I often wish I was even a fraction as good at doing so!
In contrast, there are also people I know who have similar wonderful dreams and ambitions but are too fearful to step out and fulfill them and I always so want to give them enough encouragement and confidence to just go for it, take the risk, step out of the boat and do something they never thought they ever would.
I often feel like I live life too ‘safely’ and feel very vanilla. But in saying that, I also often feel the bubbles of desire and potential boldness rise up from within and know that often, I’ll bottle doing something if it’s just down to me believing in myself but that if someone comes alongside me and gives me a nudge or a push, then I’ll take the risk and go for it. And I’m blessed that happens often and that I do have people in my life who see that, understand me and help me step out of the boat and out of my comfort zone because one of my main mantras in life is to have no regrets.
The point of this blog? To get us all thinking.
What dreams and ambitions do you have? Have you packed them away in a little box, tied up with a ribbon as an impossibility? If so, it’s time to get them out, blow the dust away and unwrap them. Or are you already on the cusp of taking the plunge and embracing something new? Now is the time to jump in, confidently and boldly with both feet. It is never too late. And alongside this, encourage others. Because the result will be people achieving things beyond the normal, fulfilling dreams, ambitions, hopes and desires and more significantly, the extraordinary becoming the ordinary.