A gazillion years ago I had a job in advertising. One of the mantras of the ad agency I worked in was ‘The good is the enemy of the great’. I heard that so often while I was working there I got a bit eye-rolly about it. But every so often I remember and it makes me think.
It’s easy to settle for the ‘good’ and the ‘nice’. A life lived like that can be pleasant and calm and unstressful, but also a teeny bit dull. To really live life I think you have to take a few risks, say yes to things you’ve never tried, accept challenges, and occasionally scare yourself stupid in a quest for ‘the great’, whatever that may be.
Sometimes those risks don’t work out, but it’s always exciting to try something to new and you usually learn something in the process. So, every few months I do something that terrifies me, because, to me, it seems like the best way to keep growing.
Sometimes it’s a physical challenge – like zip wiring over amazing landscapes; or downtown skating with skaters who have way more ‘skillz’ than me (this was one of the ones that ended badly, with a broken wrist, but it was brilliant fun at the time!)
Sometimes it’s more of a psychological challenge – like standing up in front of huge crowds of people at booky events or stand up shows.
- Emirates Lit Fest 2016
This Summer I found my latest challenge. I’m still not entirely sure I’ll go through with it. This one might be too scary for me!
It was inspired by James Campbell, the host of a panel I was part of at this year’s WOMAD festival.
- WOMAD Panel ‘Funny is a Serious Business’ with Jo Nadin, Wendy O’Shea Meddour and James Campbell
James is a Stand up Comedian for Children. Doing stand up in front of adults is panic-inducing enough, and it occurred to me that there can’t be many scarier things in the world that standing in front of several hundred kids and trying, deliberately, to over excite them.
So wish me luck with this year’s challenge!
I’d love to hear what you’ve done recently that scared and excited you.