Will You Jump?

By: D. A. Slinkard

We recently enjoyed the birthday of our great nation with our family and this time always means laughs, hotdogs, hamburgers, and swimming! The kids really do love swimming laps in the pool, and seeing how beautiful the water looked, reminded me of my youth. I was taken back to the countless times I would swim as a kid. I remember going swimming in Missouri and early in the spring, I would dip my toe into the water to check the temperature. Brrrr, it was cold. There are two ways to get into a swimming pool. The first way is to step in and wade out, while the other way is to just jump in.

I have noticed that too many people go about life taking the first approach in which they take one step at a time, trying to be cautious and not go too fast. Now, I am not saying this is a bad approach to living, but I am going to say that sometimes we need to just jump fully into the water. If the water’s cold, I do not want to take my time wading out to get acclimated. I want to just jump in and get covered head-to-toe. My body will adjust to the temperature much more quickly this way.

There are many things in life we should just jump into and get started this very way. However, too many people simply want things to be perfect before they start living their life. Jump in, and just get started living. You will adjust. In fact, if we take our time wading into the waters of life, sometimes it is too easy to turn around and retreat to the shoreline. We give up too easily where if we had just kept on going, we would have been fine.

Jumping right in pushes us out of our comfort zone and forces us to take actions. A person’s success will depend upon his or her ability to take the right amount of action. I believe too many people fail in life because they underestimate the appropriate amount of action they should be taking. We like to plan for the “if-everything-goes-according-to-plan” approach, and life has taught me it hardly ever goes as planned. We need to be prepared to take additional actions in our lives to ensure our quality of life is better than expected.

I know I have been guilty in the past of underestimating what I needed to achieve to have success. The reality is that when things get tough, many people end up tucking their tails and running for the house. You cannot tuck tail and run away, you must be prepared to stay the course and fight for success. We have been lulled to sleep with the “now” mentality. We want success and we want it now. If anything takes any time at all, we want to reconsider whether it is worth it. Success in life takes hard work. Plain and simple. However, we have given in to the mentality of not wanting things to be tough.

I am glad my grandparents did not give up when things got tough. I am glad my parents did not give up when things got tough. I am glad they knew what they had to do to have success, and that was to jump into life and not wade into the waters. If you go about life just wading around, not fully committing to success, do not be surprised when you are met with failure after failure. You must be willing to jump feet first and begin to act. You will not have everything figured out, but you must begin by taking the first step. There is a quote that says: “You do not have to see the entire staircase, just take the first step.” We need to take the step and then continue moving on to build up momentum.

If we just get busy taking actions each day that brings us closer to our dreams and our desires, we will eventually get there. However, the road may not be easy, it may be difficult; we cannot retreat to the shoreline. We must continue moving forward toward our destination. We all have a choice to make when it comes to our lives, do we wade into the waters with the idea of the shoreline behind us or do we jump in knowing we will have discomfort only for a little while? Will you make the jump?

By: D. A. Slinkard

D.A. Slinkard would love your feedback. You can contact him at da.slinkard@gmail.com