A Quick Note About Challenges

 

When was the last time you actually challenged yourself? When was the last time you looked at your personal or professional life and thought it was time to reach for something that seemed unreachable? When was the last time you cast off the shackles of comfort and did something different/something cool/something more than you had done in the past? When was the last time you really stretched for a goal that seemed a little crazy? 
 
Last week, a friend of mine made the following observation: "It's been a while since you posted anything funny. Aren't you supposed to do that every Wednesday?" Now, this is the type of friend who could very likely have told me I never posted anything funny, so I appreciated his kindness. But I also knew he was right; I knew I had been shirking my self-imposed responsibility.
 
Then I looked it up to see how long it had been. The answer did not please me. Let me simply say that there has only been one such post in all of 2014.
 
And so, I have assigned myself the following challenge: Next week I will post a humor piece every day. (As always, you will be the ultimate arbiters on how funny they really are.) But here's the real crux of the challenge. As I sit here at my computer, I have no ideas -good or bad, funny or unfunny, worthless or worth-full).
 
But isn't that the point of a challenge - to take on something you're not sure you can pull off, to strive for what seems unstrivable, to push for something extra with the belief that something great will occur? The entire point of any challenge is hoping to achieve "something great".  It doesn't always happen, but that is why they call them "challenges".
 
Here's one of my favorite quotes from Tom Peters. "At some point today (today!), despite 'overload'…just say 'What the hell' and go for it in some way or other. (Likewise, worry if it’s been more than a week or so since you said to yourself 'what the hell')."
 
Remind me and, later, I'll share some of my stories where I decided to go for it in one way or another. But for now, my "go for it" is the simple challenge of writing those five posts.
 
And one more thing – why do I announce it to you? Well, when you go for a challenge, what pressures (other than internal) help you move forward? I have found that, if you don't let others know what you are trying to do, it is far too easy to cop out/put it off/live to fight another day/get back to work on making sure line five of the sixteenth worksheet doesn't have any typos.
 
So, tell the world what you want to try for. In fact, feel free to share with us. What challenge have you set for yourself? (And, while you're posting, feel free to suggest any ideas I might write about. Seriously, I got nothing.)

Posted on Apr 11, 2014 by Mike Jacka

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