Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Step or Leap?

When opportunity knocks would you step or leap? There seem to be two very different schools of thought. The "step school" says day by day, task by task, you best reach your goal by perseverance and plodding through the minutia to reach the end. Those in the "leap school" believe the net will only appear after you leap. Who is correct?

In this week's NY Times, Tara Parker-Pope wrote an article with discouraging news for those making small changes in their health habits. The theme of the discussion was small changes don't really have a great impact on a person's health status. If true, this delivers a potentially harmful blow to those people who are eliminating one soda a day or adding a walk around the block during lunch. Does the "step school" work in improving your health? If people don't believe it possible, I fear we'll lose masses who can't quite commit to going to the gym for 60 minutes 5 days each week. This is a huge risk for all of us, I say.

If you'd like to see a great example of a leaper, read here about Andrew Wicklander and his leap. It is well worth consuming the entire story (and continuing to follow along), but the basic premise is Derek Sivers created The First Follower and Andrew Dubber said he'd give away one idea a day for 30 days and Andrew Wicklander said he'd implement one of Dubber's ideas and ship by May 1, 2010. Andrew Wicklander is a leaper. And, I'm struck by the similarity between leaper vs. leper (defined as a person ostracized for unacceptable behavior, opinions, character...). Keep in mind, Derek, Andrew and Andrew don't really know each other. Andrew #2 made a leap based on the passion of two other people he met via the web. That, my friends, is a leap. And I think we need more leapers, and lepers, taking more leaps.

So, what does this mean for a person struggling with their weight, not exercising and not eating well? Should they even bother taking a step if they can't leap? Yes! A resounding, certain and loud yes. If you're not ready or can't leap, take some steps. Steps can help you inch your way closer to a leap. If you really, truly want something to happen? Leap with your whole heart and your eyes wide open.

Change happens with steps. Movement happens with a leap.

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