The brave | Mark’s Remarks

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You ever notice how people are always ready to know your business and then tell you what you should do? I’m starting to sound like Andy Rooney.  Remember him?

I’ve had people call me up or text me, asking me a question that is absolutely none of their business, just so they can be informed.  

As is usually the case, I am so shocked by their blatant nosiness that I usually answer their question.  Then I kick myself for answering it. 

Those same people will then give advice or tell you what they think you should do. Moreover, these are the people that want you to make safe decisions that aren’t at all risky. Don’t do anything that you may fail at. Do the safe things.  Cover your own rear end at all times and don’t do anything out of the ordinary.

I heard a group of people talking about various things long ago. One of those people – perhaps the dreamer of the bunch – began talking about things he’d like to do. Business ideas, travel plans, what have you. He was having a good time just talking about things he had always hoped to do.

A couple of curmudgeons in the group began immediately getting their proverbial hat pins out to pop their buddy’s bubble.  

“Oh, come on now. You aren’t ever going to achieve that and why would you want to take on something like that? People aren’t going to support that. You’ll end up falling on your face.”

Well, if that guy had listened to his friends telling him all the safe and less risky things to do, he probably wouldn’t have taken the plunge to realize his dreams.  He did indeed start a side business he’d always wanted to try and it was a success. Furthermore, after he got that business rolling, he was able to travel to all the places he’d talked about. And he’s still traveling and the successful business is still rolling along.

Now, this guy could have very well faced failure. He could have started traveling and gotten mugged or sick or something else. But he didn’t. And what would have happened if he’d never just jumped in with both feet and went for it?

There are way, way more people out there who will give you thousands of reasons for not taking on a project or trying something new. They will say things that are encouraging like “Well, I have no doubt you could do it if you tried, but.”

There’s always a “but.”

Look, we have to stop taking advice from people who aren’t brave about their own lives. They don’t want to fail, they don’t want to be uncomfortable, and they care so much about what others think of them. They also don’t really want you to be brave and try new things because it would make them feel lesser than you and they might not be able to relate to you anymore.

You see, it’s really all about them – and they’d sure like it if they could tell you what to do and have you listen to them.

And now, speaking to all you curmudgeons, a group of which I am a card-carrying member. We’ve got to stop being bubble poppers and naysayers. If someone thinks enough of us to share their hopes and dreams with us, then we should listen. No judgment.  

“Good for you! You are braver than I am, but more power to you!” 

How hard is it for us to bite our tongue and even be a little half-heartedly sincere with our encouragement? Again, if they thought enough of us to share, why not wish them well?

If we aren’t brave, we can at least encourage those who are.

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