For the most part, I think we fear our own power because acknowledging it requires us to take action. Taking action requires energy, stamina and presents us with the possibility of failing. It’s much easier to blend in with everybody else, all the fearful people who don’t venture into their zones of discomfort.
I look back on the great cynics I have known in my life, and I have to admit they provided a great deal of entertainment for me with their smart-aleck remarks as we watched one of our peers dare to chase some cockamamie dream that none of us thought could possibly work. Years later, the cynics had done nothing new with their lives. But, look at what the visionaries did:
There was the night city editor who quit to open a restaurant. It wound up being Ryan’s — an extremely successful chain and franchise. At the height of his success, the late Eddie Ervin owned 25 of the restaurants himself.
There was the television assignment editor who left to go to medical school and now is a great doctor with a huge practice.
There was the very lame reporter who left for law school and became quite well-known for civil rights work.
And when those dreams worked, we’d make some snide remark about it — and you know that came entirely from jealousy.
Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books, including an Oprah pick. She speaks to corporations and organizations on courageous and creative leadership strategies taken from her interviews with the best-known leaders of our times.