Imagine you could walk into Bunnings and buy the fertiliser of greatness. You could just go home, sprinkle a bit in your shoes, walk around in it for a while and it would lift you out of your rut. Sprinkle a little more in your shoes, have another little stroll and it would take your life from ordinary to extraordinary.
You’d pay big money for this stuff, right? You’d happily stand in a long queue to get some. If there was just one bag left, you might even run across the store, elbow past a few big, burly tradies and then wrestle it from the frail, arthritic clutches of a sweet, adorable grandma. You would, wouldn’t you? After all, this stuff is going to change your life!
What if I told you this stuff exists? What if I told you it was free and that you didn’t have to go to Bunnings, line up, pay an exorbitant price or wrestle it from a sweet, old granny?
Well, it does exist… and no one wants it. In fact, most of us would do anything possible to avoid it.
The fertiliser of greatness is vulnerability.
Most of us hate feeling vulnerable and will do absolutely anything to avoid it. We put off awkward, necessary conversations. We put up with terrible things, instead of making a stand. We continuing to work in horrible jobs. We stay in toxic relationships. We quietly shelve our most precious dreams. Many of us live lifetimes of familiar disappointment rather than ever going after what we truly want and risking feeling vulnerable.
Ask people the top five emotions they wish to experience in their life and the answers are fairly typical. They want happiness, love, safety, contentment and joy. Occasionally someone will say they want sexual ecstasy, but no one ever says they want to feel vulnerable.
Vulnerability is the stuff which builds heroes. It’s the stuff which helps you learn, grow, move forward and do great things.
You may be surprised to discover that Mahatma Gandhi absolutely hated public speaking and could barely mutter a sentence at his first attempt. Following this failure, he could easily have chosen to stay silent, feel safe and live a small, comfortable life. Instead, he chose to be vulnerable. He prioritised his values over his fears and in the end his words changed a nation.
If you just want to feel comfortable, just sit down on a couch, open some Doritos, switch on some reality TV and stay there for the next forty years. However, if you want to achieve anything of real importance, have the courage to be vulnerable.
While your comfort zone may feel ever so safe, that slightly scary place beyond it is the only space where you can really live, grow and make meaningful change. If you want to pursue a life of purpose, it’s time to grab a great big handful of that fabulous fertiliser called vulnerability and throw it in your boots.
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