Why do we feel so inspired by reading/listening to or talking with someone who regularly does new, exciting things in his life?
Whether it's the co-worker who quit his job to become a full-time artist, the woman who decides that photographing sharks is her idea of a dream vacation, or the family that packs up and heads to Alaska for a month-long outdoor adventure, there is something inspiring about seeing others reach out and grasp life with both hands.
Of course, you don't have to choose such dramatic, huge dreams. Something on the smaller side like giving a presentation during a staff meeting (if you are terrified of public speaking) or trying a Zumba class (when you believe you're as coordinated as a slinky) or even deciding that you're finally going to share your writing with a friend are all great places to start.
Dale Carnegie's book, 'Public Speaking for Success' tells about a woman who was a great horseback rider. You know what her number one tip was to become a great horsewoman? Ride a horse. Seriously, the hours she logged in the saddle were what made her great.
Think about that for a minute. If we want to become a great public speaker someday, the best place to start is by reading a book or taking a course. Then practicing. And practicing. And practicing some more. If we just keep reading book after book, watching others present, downloading videos about giving effective presentations but never speak in front of anyone, we won't become great at it.
Simple. But not easy.
If only we could read books and transfer that knowledge directly into our skill set: wouldn't that be wonderful?
Until that happens, the only choice we have when we face dreams (and the fears that naturally come along with them) is to take a big, deep breath and give it a try. Each time that "big, scary thing" will get easier. And soon we'll be wondering why in the world we ever felt scared of that.
Is there something you've always longed to do but haven't tried? Or something that you tried and failed at, but are still fascinated by? We'd love to hear about it in the comments or via Facebook or Twitter.
This post is re-written from content at my previous website, Scared E Cat. You can find the original version here.
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