Notable Quotable – Fear

You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.

                                    ~ Christopher Columbus

Fear. It holds us back from so much. It is so powerful that it can keep us from realizing dreams.

I love this quote because it serves to instill courage, courage to take that plunge into the unknown. For some, the unknown can be so outrageously scary; for others it is the excitement that drives them.

I think I fall into the latter category, at least most of the time. The unknown to me was always thrilling. I left home (Niagara Falls) to move to a new city (Washington, DC) to start my career. At that time the population there was 3.2 million people. I was fearless (read: young) there and I found getting lost in the city my way of exploring. I was never afraid of getting lost, even in the bad parts of town. Those were the years that I lived life on the edge.

But I soon tired of the big city and yearned for a slower pace. I had visited a good friend in San Antonio, Texas and found the friendly laid back attitudes so inviting that on my next vacation I set up 12 interviews (in the beer industry in San Antonio and both in the beer industry and the radio industry in Austin). I ended up getting a job offer at a radio station while on vacation and came back to DC, packed up my shit and three weeks later I was moving into a condo in Austin and starting a whole new chapter in my life.

That particular chapter lasted for three years when I grew weary of radio advertising sales and decided to open a bar. I didn’t know anything about running a bar…I had just spent a great deal of time drinking in them. I always dreamed of having a little neighborhood bar, similar to the ones that I grew up with back in Niagara Falls and Buffalo, so I took a vacation from the classic rock radio station and opened one. It was one of the scariest things I ever did, giving up a lucrative career in advertising sales and throwing caution to the wind to devote my life to an 1800 foot beer joint with two pool tables and a few dart boards. But I decided that if I was going to do it, I had to throw myself into it 100 percent. I came back from my vacation, went into my sales manager’s office and told him I was leaving to open a bar. (His response was awesome: he put out a memo to the whole station about me opening a bar and announced that my going-away party was going to be at my bar and for people to bring a lot of money to put in my cash register. How cool is that?!)

The unknown, although scary, was also thrilling. I learned a lot from those experiences and know that should the opportunity come again where I might lose sight of the shore, I’ll be able to dive right in.

Because the one thing I realized through all my ventures: God doesn’t bring you this far only to hang you out to dry…

May you always find the courage to lose sight of your shore.

sailing away

When was the last time you did something scary? Did the prospect of “losing sight of the shore” ever keep you from taking the journey? If so, do you regret it?