Day 4: Is It Worth a Try?

Undoing the Elephant Mindset is a 10 day challenge designed to help you identify the false boundaries you’ve created in your own life, recognize the deeper reasons you stop yourself from stepping outside those boundaries, and then break free from the ties that hold you back from living a life you are passionate about. What you’ll need: a notebook or blog or computer, a desire to reach for more in your life, and an open mind.

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Day 4: Is It Worth a Try?

Today’s challenge is a pretty simple one. By now you’ve identified a personal goal, recognized your boundaries, and decided if those boundaries are legitimate. As you’ve been writing, hopefully other realizations have surfaced for you, too.

Today you just have to answer this for yourself: Is your goal worth a try? Is it worth the risk involved, however large or small that risk is? Do you have to do this? I can’t tell you how many writing teachers I’ve heard say, “If you don’t have to write, don’t.” You know if your goal is something crucial to your existence or not. Explore all aspects of this question and keep in mind your previous days of writing. Revisit those challenges while you work on this one. Try to write for at least 20 minutes to really wring as much out of this question as possible.

Here are some quotations to ponder as you work on today’s challenge (yeah, some of these are corny, but maybe they’ll resonate with you):

  • Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.  So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover.  ~Attributed to Mark Twain
  • I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.  ~Pablo Picasso
  • When in doubt, make a fool of yourself.  There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth.  So what the hell, leap.  ~Cynthia Heimel, “Lower Manhattan Survival Tactics”
  • Progress always involves risks.  You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.  ~Frederick B. Wilcox
  • Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.  ~T.S. Eliot
  • Between the great things we cannot do and the small things we will not do, the danger is that we shall do nothing.  ~Adolph Monod

If you feel up to sharing, please leave a comment below. You can either write your entire day 1 challenge in the comments, or just give us an overview of your goal and some of the main points you wrote about. See you tomorrow for more Undoing the Elephant Mindset!


One thought on “Day 4: Is It Worth a Try?”

  1. Right before Christmas I bought a really cheap guitar on eBay. I had just decided that I love vibing out to acoustic music so much, that I didn’t want to be 60, 70, or 80 one day and be saying to my grandkids, “I wish I had learned to play guitar when I was young.” To me, it’s suffocating to think of living a lifetime and then looking back to think of all the things you wish you had done. So…we only have one life…anything we want to do, we should AT LEAST try.
    Aside from my big goal, everyone has those little goals they want to accomplish, even if they are odd things you just want to say you have done, just because. Like hiking the entire Appalachian trail, playing guitar, selling crafts on Etsy, growing your own garden.
    The point is: everything is worth a try. Failure is a learning experience, not something we should fear, though it is understandable to do so. After all, a life of restricting fear isn’t much of a life at all.


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