In one of his last speeches John F Kennedy spoke about how Frank O’Connor the Irish writer, spoke in one of his books, how, as a boy, he and his friends would make their way across the countryside, and when they came to an orchard wall that seemed too high and too doubtful to try and too difficult to permit their voyage to continue, they took off their hats and tossed them over the wall – and then they had no choice but to follow them.
In life there are always reasons to be cautious, and sometimes it’s obviously right to be so, but I see a lot of clients who seem to have forgotten that they are mortal. They worry about what’s ahead to the point where they keep themselves stuck in their present unhappiness.
If we’re lucky there will be a moment on our death-bed when we have a chance to look back on our life and assess the choices we made. And I bet few will applaud the times we didn’t take a chance, or commit to something that could fail, and remember with pride the times they stepped into the unknown.
For me, leaving a police career 18 years into it in order to pursue as a risky living something I had fallen in love with, was one of my big ‘throw my hat’ moments and has led to a life that feels blessed – and I know I’ll smile at the memory when I breathe my last. So I really encourage you to find some walls that seem too tall to climb, and throw your hat. You’ll enjoy the climb as much as the view from the top.