If you want to innovate then stretch yourself!

We were sent this thought a little while ago by Neil Crofts, founder of Authentic Business, and decided to pass it on:

It is very tempting to hide behind the mask of prudence, to temper our efforts with caution, to avoid exposure to risk or danger. And not just tempting, it is positively encouraged in our society to play safe.

The English have a subtle double-speak to indicate when you have gone too far: “you are brave”, (with the emphasis on ‘brave’) translates as – “you are a mad and irresponsible fool”. “The tallest trees catch the most wind”, “keep your head below the parapet”, “play it safe” – are the subtle mantras fed into our consciousness.

But where does it lead? Where do you get to with a life led below the parapet? Do you get to your full potential? Do you achieve the extraordinary? Do you do amazing things?

So where is the edge? If our cultural conditioning places such an early limit on our potential, how do we know where too far is? The reality is that we don’t. The “edge” is not a constant thing, it is a constantly moving, morphing thing. It depends on so many variables that, like the weather or financial markets, the only way to have any certainty about even the very short term, is to get very close to it and make subtle adjustments the whole time.

Colin Chapman, the mercurial founder of Lotus Cars, genius motor racing engineer and innovator used to say that “Any car which holds together for more than a race is too heavy”. Meaning that if you want to excel, you have to be prepared to face the edge of failure.

If we want to innovate, change, succeed, be fulfilled or do anything meaningful in life, love or business, we simply have to be prepared to stretch. Stretch is where the learning and development starts. If we don’t stretch we don’t improve. If we don’t push ourselves beyond our comfort zone, nothing changes, we just loop around, same old, same old.

We couldn’t put it better ourselves!

What’s next for you? More of the same?

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