Earlier this year, I wrote several articles about being willing to go for your vision, to become the leader of your own life, to be clear about what it is that fuels your passion to make a difference in this world.
In his daily blog, my colleague David Robinson recently shared a wonderful personal story that invites us to let go of other people’s rules when they don’t fit and to make our own – rules that will support us in living into our greatest potential and sharing our greatest gifts with the world around us. Thank you, David, for inspiring us to “call our own names.”
It is not lost on me that I’m unable to get back to Seattle. The initial flight delay set off a ripple of stand-by lists with actual guaranteed seats on planes 2 to 3 days from now. I waved the white flag, let go of what I thought was so important, and decided not to spend 3 days in airports. Instead, I went on a road trip. I made a run for Omaha, renting a car and driving seven hours, into and through a whiteout snow that was blowing so hard that all I could do was follow the taillights of the car ahead of me. I literally could not see the road. I talked with friends on the phone while I drove. I had hours of silence and quiet. I saw a part of America that I don’t often see because I fly over it instead of drive through it.
When I looked at the ticket agent and said, “I’d rather not wait in the airport,” she thought I was nuts. How could I make the decision to walk away? She said, “But, we can’t change your itinerary, we can’t transfer your flight to another city. You’ll have to buy another ticket.”
“That’s exactly right,” I thought. I would rather go off the reservation and drive, not knowing when or where I would find a portal into Seattle. Spending 3 days of my life sitting in an airport waiting for the smallest possibility of a seat on a plane seemed crazier than walking out of the airport and asking, “Well, what’s next?”
I’ve spent too much of my life waiting for something to happen. I no longer have it in me. The ticket agent had a rule to follow and I realized that I did not. Instead, I’m making my own rule, and my rule is: don’t wait.
I have a mantra that is new to this year. It’s not a resolution; it just seemed to find its way in.
“Act. Try. Aim.”
In other words, practice what I preach. Step into the unknown as a way of being, not as a once-in-a-while activity.
Act. I don’t need to know where I am going before I take a step. If something feels like it takes life away from me, I walk the other way.
Try. See what happens.
And then aim.
I now have a seat on a plane out of Denver on Wednesday. I will have driven or trained halfway to Seattle before getting on a plane. I’m having adventures, spending time with people I love, and not knowing what tomorrow holds. And, I am certainly more alive now than I would have been had I decided to sit and wait for my name to be called.
“Isn’t it time,” I thought as I left the airport in my rental car, “that I started calling my own name?”
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