At least pull the trigger…

A quote that I saved from the Jack’s Winning Words blog inspired this morning’s post – “I learned a long time ago that there is something worse than missing the goal, and that’s not pulling the trigger.”  (Mia Hamm)

Mia Hamm has been a long-time star on the Us Women’s soccer team and related the many times she pulled the trigger on scoring attempts that failed on her way to the record setting successes that she had. She expressed no regrets on having tried and failed. Her quote shows that a strong and consistent commitment to taking action is preferable to being paralyzed by fear or indecision.

I have another quote that I saved from Jack’s blog that goes well with Hamm’s – “Don’t plan it all. Let life surprise you a little.” (Julia Alvarez)

It is in the tendency to over plan life that many become bogged down in paralysis by analysis and end up doing nothing, not pulling the trigger. Allowing life to surprise you every now and then is essentially taking a chance and pulling the trigger without taking time to consider all of the potential outcomes. That does not have to be as reckless as it might sound. I am not espousing doing really dangerous or stupid things – things like one might see on the show Jackass – but rather that many unplanned or surprise things turn up in life may well lead you in new directions without involving excess danger. You will never know unless you try them. At least pull the trigger…

The most simple and common example of life’s surprises is meeting new people. One encounters people every day that you may not have met before. At that moment you have a choice to make. Do you smile and say hello, in hopes of getting a response or do you lower your eyes and hurry past them in hopes that they do not notice you? If you never pull the trigger on those occasions, think of how many interesting people you will never meet. Sure, you may end up meeting a few jerks or people that you just wish you could get away from – those are the misses that Hamm talked about. But what a pleasant surprise when you meet someone with whom you can have a nice conversation and maybe even begin a friendship. At least pull the trigger…

The same is true of things like trying a new restaurant or a new store or going to a new place for vacation. Too many times we allow the safe comfort zone of the places that we know stop us from trying those new places. In today’s fast-paced world of high technology, many older people have resisted embracing new technologies, sometimes out of fear that they will look stupid while trying to learn. Those who embraced new communications technologies were much better prepared to ride out the restrictions on personal meetings imposed by the current pandemic; unlike those who allowed themselves to become isolated because they would not learn how to use Zoom or other methods of sharing time with others. At least pull the trigger…

So rather than let fear of the unknown or the need to plan everything out prevent you from trying new things, meeting new people and journeying on new adventures, let life surprise you a little and at least try them. Embrace the Nike motto and “Just do it”. Instead of stopping yourself, by thinking that it would be reckless or dangerous to proceed, try thinking of it as a grand new adventure full of wonderful possibilities. That positive attitude will help you get over any initial rough spots and enable you to enjoy the benefits of new knowledge, new experiences, and new friends.  At least pull the trigger…

You’ll be glad that you did.

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