205-223-4415 shawn@shawnwright.net

Carpe Diem! Seize The Day

What a great rallying cry on a Monday morning. What a great way to start your day or the beginning of your project. Yes! Today will be a success!

The enemy of “seize the day” is procrastination. Soon after you you cry out “Carpe Diem” something captures your eye like a shiny object. Oh, I have a comment on Facebook! Hey, that guy wants to connect on LinkedIn! Just a quick response and then I seize the day. All of a sudden it’s lunchtime. Procrastination has done it’s job. Tomorrow I seize the day!

I was channel surfing one night when I came across a show that had a very old man who was climbing a mountain in Antarctica. I missed the first part of the show and at this point he was already struggling high on the mountain. There was an interview with the camera man who was going through a moral dilemma, Should he drop his camera and help the others save this man or does he do his job and continue recording the story as it played out.

Norman Vaughn made it to the top of the 10,302’ mountain that bares his name. He was three days shy of his 89th birthday. At the top he was greated by hugs, tears and relief and then he yelled out his mantra, “Dream Big and Dare To Fail!”

Vaughan was no ordinary man. He was accepted as a member of the 1928-1930 Byrd Antarctic Expedition. Admiral Byrd was so taken by his skills that he named the peak after Vaughan.

There is not enough room in this story to list all of his accomplishments. I will say that he had a full life and at the age of 68 moved to Alaska where he also competed in 13 Idatarod Sled races. Do the math.

Dare To Fail
Dream Big and Dare To Fail. What has stood out to me the most is “Dare to Fail.” Anyone can seize the day. Anyone can make a bucket list. Anyone can have a mission statement. Not everyone can stare down failure and still move forward.

My son is 10 years old and is one of the smartest and most creative kids I know. The only thing that holds him back is the fear of failure. If he doesn’t think he will succeed at something, he won’t do it. He’s not alone. Other parents have told me the same thing about their children.

When ever he is in a funk or won’t move forward with an assignment or goal, I drag him down to my workshop. On one of the cabinet doors I have stapled a page from a 1995 Men’s Health Magazine. It shows a picture of a saluting Norman Vaughan, his face framed by a fur lined hood.

I tell him about Norman Vaughan’s adventures, of successfully climbing the mountain that bares his name. Becoming a polar explorer, competing in the 1932 Winter Olympics and a host of other achievements.

I also tell him about his many failures. He was married 4 times after all. When he moved to Alaska he was bankrupt. These setbacks might have slowed him down but didn’t stop him. He kept moving forward.

Is Failure Holding You Back?
You probably already have big dreams. It’s part of your buckel list, you personal mission statement. Now think about the projects you have that you just can’t seem to finish. Do you wish you had another career but you can’t seem to leave the one you have now because it pays too well? What are those road blocks that are keeping you from getting to where you want to be?

Maybe your just scared you will fail.

Procrastination probably has you in it’s grips today but tomorrow is a new day. Instead of waking up and thinking “Sieze the Day.” Think “Dare to Fail.” It’s time to push through and have the job you want and to be the person you are supposed to be. It works for my son, it will work for you.

The photo at the top is not Norman Vaughan. It’s just a stock photo that I thought would look good. I had a tough time finding photos that I could use. If you would like to see Norman Vaughan visit his website or search the images on google.