Friday, October 24, 2008

A Barrel Over the Falls!

Today is the anniversary of the first person to go over Niagra Falls in a barrel and live.

Annie Edson Taylor was a 63 year-old former dance teacher and was looking for fame and fortune. She used a 160-pound barrel in 1901 to accomplish the feat. No one tried it again until 1911.

You have to imagine what was going through Annie's mind just as the barrel sailed off the foam and into the air. It had to be somewhat like what will be going through the minds of at least one of the two young people who will get married this weekend at a wedding I'm attending. It's that, "Is this the right thing to do?"

Any time we try new things there is the potential for that, "Uh, oh," feeling. It's fear, and fear is a natural reaction to change. Fear has kept humans alive throughout our evolution, so it's not bad, it's a good thing.

Not long ago a smart person asked me, "What do you fear?" I keep thinking about that. In the tight financial times we are experiencing the greatest fear for most is the fear of loss of security (as if we are ever truly secure).

When you are contemplating a change ask yourself, "What do I fear?" Then ask, "What's the worst that could happen?" If the potential downside is something you could live with, why not try?

Living the life you imagine for yourself, if it is different at all from what you are living now, involves change, big or small.

If the upside outweighs the downside, why not try? Annie Edson Taylor tried and gained the fame she sought. Over a century later the people in Niagara Falls, New York, celebrate her.

Have a wonderful weekend.

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