A Leap of Faith
A few weeks ago, I received a text messages with pictures of my sister/friend Adri’s 9 year old son Connor. He was standing tall in his junior lifeguard uniform. I wondered where the little boy from previous pictures had gone. He stood proud as he posed and stared directly into the camera with a look of no-one-will-get-hurt-on-my-beach.
Earlier this week, I was amazed and in shock when I opened a message with a new picture of Connor. In this picture, 9 year old Connor was jumping off the side of a pier into the Pacific Ocean.
At first glance, I only saw his tiny body heading straight at the water. As I looked more closely, I could see others looking over the side of the pier down at him. A closer look revealed that he wasn’t very far from the shore line and then I read Adri’s note telling me it was the completion of his training as a junior lifeguard.
I realized that until I had that context, I had been holding my breath, just as Connor must have. I sent a message right back asking Adri if she was okay and she told me what any mother would have expected; that she’d thought she was going to have a heart attack.
Over the next few days, I looked at the picture over and over again and I wondered if I had allowed my own children to have their leap of faith and then I began to wonder if I had been taking my own.
I thought about the phrase; “leap of faith” and I decided to look at what was needed.
· Training---Everyone who stood watching Connor jump knew that he was prepared or they would not have allowed it. He had trained for that moment. He had done the physical and mental work necessary.
· A Belief in one’s self—Even though Adri was afraid, Connor was not. He may have had a healthy dose of fear, but he was not afraid. There is a subtle but powerful difference. In order to do the impossible, you must first believe that you are the right person at the right time for the right purpose.
· Support---Connor had the support of his mentors, his parents, family and friends. When you take a plunge with no support, you will drown in regret, loneliness and unfulfilled dreams. Success in the realm of the improbable requires that you have a team of teachers, guides and well-wishers.
· A Purpose Goal---Connor’s goal was not selfish. It was based in his desire to help save the lives of other young people; and that my friends is where the "Faith" comes in. When we aim high for goals centered on the collective good, the good from on high becomes centered on us.
Today, think of your impossible purpose-filled goals and do what I will from now on be
calling: A Connor.
Be you, be well, be Connor
Bertice Berry, PhD.