Pushed to an edge

At the edges, things are a bit scary. You don’t know what is there outside the edge. At the center things are comfortable. You are safe.

If you want to stay where you are, you can stay at the center and be safe.

If you want to embark on new journeys, the edges are where you should be.

Let us see what will take you to an edge?

A small percentage of people will proactively go towards an edge and explore. They are wired to be at the edges. So let us leave them aside.

Majority of people have to experience a trigger that will take them to an edge. The trigger can be an event ( example: being fired or laid off from work) or on the other end, it can be a simple conversation. As you are reading this, observe what is going on in your mind. When I spoke about it in one of my previous talks, people confessed that while I was talking on the topic, they were already feeling uncomfortable about the whole thing. Please don’t resist anything. Edges are uncomfortable and that is the way it should be.

While they are uncomfortable, they need not be bad. If you are open, amazing things can happen.

I have had many conversations that have pushed me to an edge and today I am thankful for those conversations. Again, these conversations were not confrontational or unpleasant. Sometimes, at the time of the conversation, I didn’t even realize that I was being pushed to an edge. Actually, let me take a quick example and you will see this in action.

A few years ago, Dan Roam ( Author of “Back of the Napkin”) and I were attending a conference organized by 800-CEO-READ. The conference was great and at that time, the book “Back of the Napkin” was not even published yet. Dan was humble but talking to him even for a few minutes would show that he was a super smart person. We were engaged in a conversation and Dan shared about his new book and it was about drawings. I hate(d) drawings and I told him that there was no way I could learn drawing even if someone put a gun to my head. Dan smiled and said that everyone could learn to draw and it was easy. I was skeptical and in the next few minutes Dan showed me that he was not joking. Dan was kind enough to give me a galley copy of his book which I was able to devour on my plane journey back.

That was it – a ten minute conversation and that changed my life completely. My view on visual thinking was transformed in those ten minutes. Today I might have illustrated close to one hundred blog posts on this blog. I continue to learn and experiment and I am thankful to Dan for that “edge” conversation. I am thankful to GOD for making me be “open” for new possibilities.

Here are some examples of blog posts where I have illustrated:

1. Why some smart people are reluctant to share? (Dec 26, 2009)

2. Why nice people will win BIG TIME in the long run? (Jan 15, 2010)

3. Why some smart people don’t take action? (March 13, 2010)

I am sure you have your own stories about being pushed to an edge.

The question is not about the past. What you need to think about is how are you structuring your life in the next few months so that you are engaged in more conversations that will push you to the edge?

Something to think about.