New Ideas

There is a problem with trying to bring new ideas into the World.

The problem is the resistance.

The resistance tries to wear you down, so you will stop trying.

At first glance you may think that the resistance is only on the outside.





Surprisingly the biggest resistance may not be outside at all.

There is a group on the inside trying to stop you.

The resistance committee of fear, failure, shame, and pessimism do a fine job of wearing you down, and shutting down the new ideas.

The resistance committee wants to keep you isolated.

The resistance committee wants you to think that your new ideas are stupid, silly, and will never be welcomed.

The resistance committee wants to convince you that the World will never embrace you and your new ideas.

But the resistance committee is wrong.

The World is waiting to embrace you and your idea.

The World has Systems that will help you get off the ground.

The World has Organizations that need your new ideas.

The World has Power to move things forward and Power to share.

The World has Resources to invest in you and your new ideas.

Don’t let the resistance committee keep you isolated.

Don’t let the resistance committee convince you that the World is the enemy.

You have new ideas.

The World needs new ideas.

The World needs you.

“I am good as possible”

I live in New Hampshire. With the exception of my time in the Navy and a few years of grad school, I have lived here my whole life.

Every winter, it snows here…a lot. The world slows down, and we tend to hibernate and stay inside more.

I have a confession: I never learned to ski.

Combine this fact with the fact that I agreed to chaperone my daughter’s ski club helped prompt me to do something that I have been meaning to do for years: learn to ski.

At 44 years old, I decided to stop putting this off and start taking a lesson (the Sunday before a Wednesday ski club). Despite my initial fear, of falling and/or making a fool of myself, the lesson went well and I had enough skills to chaperone. Enough skills to get by. I stared to wonder if I needed additional lessons.

I told this story to a friend. This friend had a story for me. Years ago when their young child was learning to ski, their family would spend days on the slopes. Most of the day was spent in lessons, and occasionally they would “free ski” afterwards. Their child had good skills and some natural talent for skiing and could out-ski most of their peers. The lessons continued.

After lunch, most of the family was going to ski the slopes and the young child had to return to their lesson. The child wanted to ski with the rest of the family, but the lesson continued in the afternoon. A meltdown ensued with this youngster trying to find a reason why they didn’t need to continue the lesson.

“I don’t need another lesson. I am good as possible!” they screamed.

We laughed at the story, but those words remained. “I am good as possible.”

How often do we think we are good enough at something and fail to continue to learn and challenge ourselves? When does “good enough” satisfy us so that we stop refining our skills? Lessons can be boring, especially when compared to skiing down the slopes.

For me, I decided to continue with the lessons. But this story and those words caused me to look to at my own life to see where I have shouted “I am good as possible” instead of realizing that I could improve with just a few more lessons.

Learning to Ski

P.S. For anyone who thinks they are too old, tired, experienced, afraid, (insert word here) to try something new, my instructor told me about a 78 year-old grandfather who decided to learn to snowboard so he could go down the slopes at least once with his grandchildren. And he did!


Fear.  Fear is all around us.  Fear can drive a lot of what we do (or not do) in life.  Typically we avoid those things that cause us fear, but every now and then we press into our fears and try to overcome them.

Earlier this summer we decided to press into some of that fear together with our older girls by taking them to a ropes course.  The day started with learning to put on the harness and various safety tips.  After a short climb through the practice course, we were on our way.

The course is designed in a way that each challenge builds in difficulty as you progress up the levels to the top.  At the top you are rewarded with long zip-lines that travel into the tree canopy.  The challenges can build self-confidence once achieved, but can create fear as they become more and more difficult and are higher and higher in the air.

One daughter was able to embrace the fear and move from challenge to challenge.  Any observer would be able to tell she was afraid, but she kept her narrator in check with a long string of positive self-talk.

“I can do this.”

“I have been working out a lot this summer, and I think it helps.”

“I think I look cute in this helmet.”

Our other daughter wrestled with the fear.  After a few levels, the intensity became overwhelming and her narrator started to creep in with self-doubt.

“I can’t do this.”

“I want to get down.”

“Let’s go home.”

We subscribe to the “Challenge by Choice” approach, which means that there is no pressure to continue and each person can make the choice to continue or not.  We do encourage each other to stretch and challenge ourselves but do not apply pressure or guilt if someone needs to stop.

We regrouped a little and talked things out.  As we talked we discovered that she really wanted to do was to go down the large zip line and was disappointed that there was no way to get there except through the challenges.  Everyone in our group spoke encouragement and life into her.  They reminded her how much she had accomplished already and we would all work together to get her to that zip line, if she wanted to.

“I will try.”

Our little tribe began to work together and communicate in a way that had not happened earlier that day.  Everyone was listening, helping to plan, and deciding who would travel to which challenge to either demonstrate how to accomplish it, or be available to help. Amazing words of encouragement traveled between all of us.

For the first few challenges, our daughter closed her eyes and grabbed onto my harness and rode to the other side.  Tears were streaming down her face as we moved from one challenge to the next.  (The first time we did this, I almost fell backwards and fear crept into my head and I hoped I could continue, but knew I had to keep it together.)

When we reached the top tower, there were just a few challenges left to reach the zip line. The first was a rope and wooden bridge that we dubbed the “pirate bridge.”  It was at this challenge that our daughter shifted.  Confidence had replaced most of the earlier fear and the journey was almost over.  She stood at the edge of the tower and clipped her harness to the guide wire first.

“I think I can do this one myself.”

And she did.

Isn’t that the way life should be?  By facing our fears together we can help each other combat that narrator that tries to tell us that we cannot succeed and perhaps fear can play a smaller role in our lives.