So I went skydiving…
What’s more, I made the decision to go skydiving about 15 hours prior, on a kind-of-second-date, with a person I had known for barely a week. Talk about putting it all out there.
Now, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend throwing yourself out of an airplane without thinking it over once or twice, but there is something to say here about the power of spontaneity and trusting your gut.
Some of you (myself included) may have contemplated skydiving before as something to “add to your bucket-list” — as something to dream about and maybe try on your 29th, no 39th, no 99th birthday. But, think about how many chances you have had to take that leap! How often have you had nothing to do on a Sunday afternoon? How often have you spent 87 cents on a Hershey Bar (with Almonds!) instead of throwing it in your hypothetical piggy bank? (um, guilty.) Well, this weekend, I had the time, I had the cash, I had the opportunity…I had no more excuses.
Incase you missed this post’s opener, this high-flying experience happened to coincide with a kind-of-second-date. I can’t tell you his favorite color. I can’t tell you his middle name. I can’t tell you where he likes to vacation. But I can tell you that his outlook on life is one that made an impression on me (not easy to do, for the record):
Every day, he sees a message on his phone that says, “Today’s the day.” Every day (Yes, even days when he is not jumping out of an airplane). Catching a glimpse, and incorrectly assuming it was an email reminder for something particularly awesome, I asked why the day was today? His response: “Because it can’t be tomorrow!”
What an extraordinarily simple and honest way to think. “Today is the day because it can’t be tomorrow.”
This guy basically took all of the thousands of words I have put out in the world, all of my thoughts on living your life and not wasting time, all of my dreams and all of my plans, and summarized them with one short, perfect little sentence. As de Vinci says, “Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.” As my main-man, trusted Editor-slash-Dad says, “Keep it short.” Today is the day, because it can’t be tomorrow.
Now, I admit, skydiving is not the most relatable experience to my readers. Most of you will probably never want to jump out of a plane and free fall from 11,000 feet — understandable. But you cannot tell me that you don’t have a “reach school” item on your bucket-list. I would confidently argue that nearly everyone has a skill they would love to learn, a language they would love to speak, a place they would love to go. Why do we wait so long to make progress on our dreams? How much planning does it really take to take to purchase Rosetta Stone: Latin (or make a skydiving reservation)?
As I mentioned above, there is something powerful about spontaneity and trusting your gut. If I had passed on this opportunity, if I had missed out on “today,” making hypothetical plans to try to “work it out” on some far-off, imaginary date, I may have never touched the clouds with my bear hands (How many of you wanted to feel the clouds as a kid?). “Sometimes, you just have to go for it.”
Whatever your next goal may be, no matter how big or how small, no matter how “unrealistic” or “unreachable,” I challenge you to take the first step. Do it today, because today is only here for a few more hours…and it can’t be tomorrow.