When you have come to the edge of all the light you have
And step into the darkness of the unknown
Believe that one of the two will happen to you
Either you’ll find something solid to stand on
Or you’ll be taught how to fly!
– Richard Bach
A week ago, I stood alone in Times Square in New York. Well, mostly alone. Other than a car or two in the distance, there was no one to be seen. The masses of people from the night before had disappeared, the bustle and energy had subsided and for a few moments, it held an eerie quiet that was refreshing and a bit disconcerting. Within the hour, the pace would quicken and people would emerge. Within the week, a million people would converge on this space to celebrate New Year’s Eve. A billion would gather to watch them on TV. For me, it represented a fascinating edge. Standing before moments of magnitude that I knew would come.
Much has been written of the moments of transition, possibility and hopefulness that accompany the changing of the year. It is a recurring edge that we gladly walk toward every 365 days. The annual reset that brings the energy of renewal. As I think back a week to those empty streets in Times Square, I hear a quiet message for each of us as we stand at our own edges. If only we choose to listen.
- Make it extraordinary – every edge presents one more chance, make it count. Our hopes and aspirations are uniquely ours and it is a big world. Expand your vision to encompass something meaningful.
- Be completely present – it all moves so quickly. The intensity of today is gone tomorrow and so are the moments. Live them fully.
- Take others with you – one is the loneliest number. Involve others in your journey. Bring them to your edge. Walk with them to theirs – and beyond.
- Celebrate early and often – it isn’t always about finding the next mountain. Enjoy the base camps, peaks and descents.
- Let go of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) – it is always going to be there. Fear is present before and after the edge. Get used to this companion and respect it. Just don’t let it guide your life.
- Never quit – I love to read biographies. All great success stories are riddled with inflection points, do-or-die decisions and edges where the protagonist could have quit. Remember that there are always choices, there is always a way – even if it isn’t what you originally hoped, wanted or thought possible.
- Find success in the wins and losses – this is a recurring theme for me. I can’t seem to escape it and find myself embracing it more each day. In the constant ups and downs of life, satisfaction comes in finding the lesson, success or benefit of our perceived wins and losses. As Churchill said: Success is not final, failure is not fatal.
- Count your blessings every day – gratitude will fill your life with joy. We must find the gifts in our days as we walk to our edges, fall from them or fly into bright skies. Make it a part of your daily ritual and you’ll find brightness in the darkest places.
- Forgive yourself and others, frequently – people will let you down. You will let yourself down. Get over it, quickly. There is too much left to do; too many experiences waiting for you.
Resolutions? Absolutely. Resolve to be the best “You” possible. Set your goals and walk toward them. Just remember that every step is a win. Look out over this edge and resolve to do something different. Aim higher, push harder and live more in the process.
As for 2015, like year’s before, it holds so much promise. Right now, a million people are anticipating the journey to, adventure during and promise past their pilgrimage to Times Square. Tonight’s moments in that great city called New York resting on the eastern edge of the United States symbolize so much that is good and possible for all of us. Look out across those empty streets in front of you and imagine all that could be in your life. Let today be your edge, the gateway to something extraordinary. No, it isn’t easy and it will take time and effort. Yes, you may come up short. But through it, you will become something more and that is what it’s all about.
Happy New Year’s Eve! I wish you all the best for an incredible 2015.
I think fear is what keeps us from going over the edge. I mean, as a race car driver, I don’t think what makes a good race car driver is a fearless person. I think it’s somebody that is comfortable being behind the wheel of something that’s somewhat out of control. – Jeff Gordon