By Brian Passon
What if we walked people up to the ledge, rather than talking them down from it? The view is beautiful! This ledge has nothing to do with death (as many may think of when standing on the edge of a ledge) but rather life instead!
Recently I was meeting with my business mentor and he said something to the effect of… "It seems that rather than talking people off the ledge like most people do, maybe you take them to it.” Without the connotation of suicide that the ledge may instill in some, okay most, people, this is a beautiful statement and caused me pause and think.
Too many people are talked down from the ledge. Now, the "ledge" is metaphorical of course. The ledge can imply many things, but realistically it often stands in as a "way out" or "escape". I feel that more people need to face their life, and the challenges and not look for that way out. More people need to walk up to the precipice, to stare out at all that is before them and think about what they want in life, and in their work as well. They need to take an honest look at where they are. Many people can’t do that because we are all simply too busy, too bothered, or too harassed by life’s interruptions. We are often all too into “it”, and into too much at the same time. You can’t take an honest look at life unless you walk up to the ledge where you can view everything and take in the view, assess, have time alone, think, process and just be present.
We are human-BEings and we aren’t giving ourselves the time to actually BE. We need to put the BEING back in human-being. So, do you need to be walked up to the ledge? Maybe you need to walk up to the ledge to really appreciate where you are and realize that where you are is where you were meant to be, at least for now. Or maybe you need to walk up to the ledge, lift your head up and take a look around and look out and see the horizon and realize you want to be out there…out someplace new. As you stand on the ledge you may see a faint indication of a path or a trail down to the new place, but maybe you look down and see a stone edged cliff with a swift river below. The drop is far enough down to scare you, but probably not far enough to kill you.
Before you jump though, you need an idea of where you want to be, where you want to end up. It may not be a perfect image of the future and you definitely won’t have a step by step plan associated with it, but you have to have an idea of what you want or where you want to be so that you know where and/or when to swim out of the water once you do jump into that river. You may not have an exact idea, but you should have some semblance before you jump. Sometimes we have to purposefully jump and leave things behind before we really know what we want.
If the journey excites you, great, because whether or not you realize it, you’re on a journey! If the journey scares you and you walk back down off the ledge to the place you've always been that you don’t really want to be, that’s sad, because again, whether or not you realize it, you're still on a journey. This journey just may not be one worth talking about, let alone one you are enjoying or even enduring to get to something better.
If better was easy, then it wouldn’t be better it would be the same, the status quo. Better is different, so if you want better, you have to embrace change, be open to "different" and embrace a new journey.
What if you get to the ledge and realize that to get out there to that new place that you see from the ledge, you may have to walk back down the ledge into the mess, the doldrums, the status quo, to endure? Sometimes that is the bravest decision. Jumping sometimes is the easy way out. However, if you walk back down off the ledge, back to life as you know it, set a specific date and time to return to the ledge to assess everything again, then you’ve started the process of that new journey--though it may be baby steps. You know the way back to the ledge, you have the strength to make it, you have to have the will and resolve to return and consider taking the jump again.
So this brings me back to the assessment that my mentor made about me at our meeting and begs the questions, "what do I do for people, businesses and organizations?" I don’t talk people off the ledge, I walk them up to it. I stand along side them as they go through all of that process, as they decide to purposefully leap or not. I may walk back down with them, sometimes I leap with them and sometimes I just point out all of the things that they can see from the ledge.
Have you checked out the view from the ledge? Many have not and are itching to do so! This is one reason that we created Wellness Underground and were inspired to put together workshops and our latest event, A People Movement. For many people, our workshops and events are their "ledge". Some take the leap and jump and choose a new journey that challenges the status quo of their career in pursuit of something better. Some take in the view, gather information and walk back down from the ledge with a plan to return. The Wellness Underground events are a great community of people who are trying to create healthier and more productive communities and organizations that you can walk up to the ledge with!
If you need someone to walk alongside with as you consider taking in the view from the ledge, then plan on attending A People Movement where you will rub shoulders with the best of the best or contact Brian Passon about his consulting, workshop and speaking services. If you are looking for the opposite of status quo, he is your man! You can also check out Brian's YouTube channel for some inspiration...and a peek into his non-traditional style!