“You’re Here To Create”
Not sure if you’ve been watching the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Although I have heard of some the more popular storylines (e.g., snowboarding gold medals from Chloe Kim and Shaun White, the U.S. women’s hockey team, the U.S. men’s curling team, Norway leading the medals count, etc.), I have not been following this year’s Olympics as thoroughly as I have in the past.
That being said, I recently read an ESPN article on freestyle skiing athlete, David Wise. Representing the United States of America in freestyle skiing (and, specifically, the ski half pipe), David went on to win the gold medal in the event. Actually, this is his second gold medal in the event (he won gold at Sochi 2014 as well). Anyhow, what stands out for me in the article was the dialogue David had with his coach before his third and final run.
First, some brief context. David had completed two out of his three runs, and both runs up to that point had been disastrous. He had fallen on both attempts, so he literally had one last chance. One last chance to make a run at the medals podium.
The article continues by saying that David had talked with his coaches and considered playing it safe by toning down some of his planned tricks to make sure he would not fall again (which would jeopardize any chances of earning a medal). His coaches responded, “That’s not who you are. You’re here to create.”
“That’s not who you are. You’re here to create.”
As it is often said, the rest… is history. David said he had the “best run of my life.”
The article added this insight, which I thought was worded very well: “Wise realized that not attempting the run he came to Pyeongchang to land — a run he’d been thinking about for years, filled with tricks he’d fought so hard to learn — would be a bigger disappointment than not winning a medal. If he didn’t go for it, he would let himself down.”
After reading this inspiring article, I realized that this is about as perfect a representation of what it means to take risks and chances. David Wise could have played it safe, and who would have blamed him? He did not have a previous run to fall back on, since both runs resulted in him falling and scoring too low to win a medal. Yet, he did not want to leave anything on the table. He knew that if he compromised, that would have been the bigger regret than not getting a medal.
The coaches’ aforementioned words spoken to David resonated with me for two reasons:
1. Full potential is only reached when we hold nothing back and give our fullest effort. Risk is a very scary thing. In fact, I know that I naturally have a risk-averse personality. However, every decision has some degree of risk. I have to constantly ask myself whether a certain goal or achievement is worth the effort. If I can confidently say that a certain goal is worth the effort, then I need to make a decision to persistently pursue that goal (or else, have no more to offer).
When I had to make a decision to start this blog, I had a lot of doubts. I still do. I have doubts about whether the posts I produce would be considered high-quality content. I have doubts about whether the number of people who read and follow this blog will ever noticeably increase. I have some doubts about whether I can keep this blog going beyond two years.
But, I also told myself that the “loss of pride” (from a failed blog) would pale in comparison to a “loss of try.” I did not want to live with the regrets of the “what if” questions. I had to set aside my perfectionist tendencies and tell myself that perfection is as much a process as it is the desired result.
2. Creation inspires even more ideas. I do not consider myself to be a creative person at all. It is very difficult for me to organically come up with a concept that is completely new and/or relatively untouched. I know a few friends who have an eye for those kinds of things, but that is not me. That being said, I will admit that even less than a month of writing and maintaining this blog has been a springboard of inspiration for me. As I write blog posts, I start to become more curious and interested in other things. And those other things lead to even more other things. Even though my brain craves structure and following existing models/examples, stretching my mind to create content (even if it is on topics that have been written about plenty of times by plenty of different people) has flexed my creative muscles. I am already starting to think of ways to make this blog unique. After all, pioneers are pioneers because they dared to be different.
Everything has humble beginnings, but the drive to create has me excited. Starting this blog is the first risk I took, and I look forward to taking more risks as the opportunities present themselves. Now, go find your own opportunities to create! You never know what sort of breakthroughs you might hit by overcoming your fears and doubts!
Run. Invest. Learn. Celebrate. Repeat.
– Runner Investor