20 Seconds of Insane Courage

06/01/2015 04:41 pm ET | Updated Jun 01, 2016


"Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage
and I promise you something great will come of it."

I didn't see Matt Damon's movie, I Bought a Zoo, but I saw the tagline above and latched onto it.

I think there is truth to it.

As I've aged, I have more fear than I did when I was young. I have less self-confidence.

On the one hand, you'd think we'd have less fear and more self-confidence as more went right over time than wrong, but it doesn't seem to work that way. Perhaps we dwell on what went wrong over time or didn't work out as we hoped or planned, so it begins to take us down a few notches, making us more fearful and less confident.

I love listening to people looking backward at the turning points in their lives and decisions made that changed the entire direction of where they were heading... into the direction they seem so suited for. Sometimes, it seems like one inspired thought or chance encounter, or 20 seconds of insane courage, is the pivotal point of change that guides someone in the "right" direction.

Twenty seconds of insane courage probably present to each of us many times over our lifetimes. Do we typically step forward into the fear or stand rooted?

My husband, quite profoundly, believes music wasn't Bono's "path." He thinks the music just brought him to his real purpose -- his activism. U2's music created the platform and the notoriety that allowed him to make deep and meaningful changes in our world. What if he never lived in the twenty seconds of insane courage and never made the attempt to perform and play his music? What if he went to work for the post office because it was a good, stable job at that time and a more realistic thing to do?

In Steve Jobs' biography, it describes the third partner who started Apple with him and Steve Wozniak. Panicked, the third partner backed out early on and was given $2,300 for his participation. If he had stayed, his ownership percentage would have been worth $2.6 billion in 2010! He let his fear drive him and backed out on the risky venture. The cost of decisions made isn't always as clear as this.

When I stand at the precipice, I am hopeful I will dig deep inside myself and live in that 20 seconds of insane courage.

Being conscious of it might give me the strength I need to live it, stand in that space, and jump off.