June 1, 2021
Dare to chase your dreams.
Dare to lead.
Dare to be different.
Only those who dare, truly live.
What does any of this mean? Should we all pick up hang gliders and run off a cliff or we are not living?
I remember the scene in A Christmas Story where Schwartz was dared to stick his tongue to the frozen flagpole. First there was a dare, then a double dog dare, and then a triple dog dare. Next, the fire department is there getting his tongue unstuck from the flagpole.
To dare can’t mean to just do dumb things. It also can’t always mean to act. Sometimes the brave thing is to listen. Sometimes the courageous thing is not to act.
Take two people… The jet setter who has a nanny to raise their kids and the parent who sacrifices their career to be there for the homework, the sports, and the dance recitals. Is one more daring than the other?
How we make these choices is the daring part of life. When we are children, we know no fear and we act on impulse. I nearly drowned in a river at the age of 8 because I acted on impulse. As we grow, we learn the concept of fear and our brains take over, playing out the consequences of every choice until we are paralyzed.
There is an old Sioux saying that says the longest journey you will ever make is the journey from your head to your heart. On this Worldwide Dare Day, I would amend this to say that the most daring journey you will ever take is the journey from your head to your heart.
We all have a lifelong series of scary choices in front of us. When I listen to my heart, my brain second guesses me. When I listen to my brain, my heart fills me with regret.
How do we learn when to have the courage to act and when to have the sense not to act?
Unifying our head and our heart is the most daring thing any of us will ever do. Ironically, our bodies do this for us, and we don’t even realize. Our hearts and our brains operate on a subconscious level, firing billions of synapses back and forth to meld our feelings and logic and the results live in our gut. Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book called Blink. It’s about the science of gut instinct.
Ironically, Mr. Gladwell uses his big brain to show the science and practical examples of how the answers to our questions are within us if we just trust our gut.
So on this Worldwide Dare Day, I would say dare to be you. Trust your gut and don’t let your brain second guess your decision or your heart fill you with regret. After all, the decision that came from your gut was the product of your heart and your head working in the background to give you the answer. Trust that. Trust yourself.
Now that’s daring.