Maximise Your Potential

Amrit Sandhar

Are you playing safe?

on June 14, 2013

How high are you flying? Too close to the sun or too close to the sea? Our world is becoming a very small place. Shopping locations all over the world are looking more and more alike. So too is the way we dress and the way we behave. The joy of life comes from overcoming challenges and doing things differently. On my journey home, I was listening to a dedicated 80s radio station. I remember growing up in the 80s and the music really does sum up that decade. Fun, carefree and different. I remember Bananarama, Pet Shop Boys, Boy George, Duran Duran and Ultravox to name but a few. All so different and all made you feel great. I was left with a smile on my face and filled with joyful memories. We didn’t want to be the same as everyone else then. Shoulder pads and bright colours. It was good to be different. And we took full advantage!

How different are we now? Have we become so similar that we blend in, losing any differences? Seth Godin in his book ‘The Icarus Deception’, refers to the fear we have been fed about not flying too close to the sun or too close to the sea, just as the Greek mythological character, Icarus. We must play safe and stick to the middle ground. Really? And be like everyone else? The 80s was fun because we could express ourselves, be ourselves. Fun was important. Standing out was important, for whatever reason you liked. I believe Seth is right, we should soar high and dare to dream and see where it leads us. The wax may not melt and we might not plunge into the sea. Michael Heppell in his book ‘How to Be Brilliant’, retells the story of Richard Branson. Richard had a friend at school who he kept asking to join him in his start-up ventures. Each time, the reply from his friend came back as ‘I’ll call you’. His friend never did. Now, after the success of the Richard Branson empire, his friend may well be sitting next to his partner in front of the television,  explaining how he had an opportunity of being a partner in the empire. His family have probably heard the story a hundred times and probably roll their eyes each time.

Playing safe will lead to ordinary, to mundane, to average at best. This may be just what you are looking for and if so, great. I suspect many of us though, love 80s music because it was so different, love being ourselves, which means celebrating our differences, and has an Icarus inside each of us, who wants to soar high and see what happens. The wax might not melt as the sun may not be so intense as we have been made to believe, in which case, the question that needs to be asked is, where would you like to fly too?…

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