Cam is a devoted husband and father to two young children residing in the countryside outside of Toronto. Cam runs a boutique consulting business. His work takes him to Berlin one week, New York the next and Singapore the week after. In between all the traveling, he manages to find time for his wife Karen and support the activities of his kids. He is a soccer coach and a Cub Scout leader.
“I love seeing the satisfaction in the kids’ eyes as they achieve something like learning to start a campfire in the woods. It’s great watching them master a new skill,” Cam told me as we talked about his work with kids.
One day Cam was trying to encourage his 9 year old son Maclain to try something new. Maclain was hesitant, a bit intimidated by the new challenge. Cam tried to reassure him and said to his son, “Sometimes you have to do things that scare you…a little.”
Cam was trying to teach his son something important about how to be an adult. Because that’s what adults do.
One day Maclain turned the tables on his father by asking him why he wouldn’t join an adult soccer league which was recruiting in the area. Cam gave his son a number of reasons – I’m too old, the other players are in their 20s, and I haven’t played league soccer in 25 years. After a thoughtful pause, Maclain looked up at his 43 year old father and said, “Dad, sometimes you have to do things that scare you a little”, then waited patiently for an adult response.
Checkmate. Smiling, Cam sat back and took a deep breath and said, “You’re right, you rotten little kid!”. Now he couldn’t let his son down. More importantly, Cam realized that he had to follow his own advice. So he did. Cam joined the +21 soccer league. For a while it was tough. Cam wasn’t 21 anymore but he got better and eventually was able to compete with the 25 year olds on the field. He lost weight, got fitter, stronger and faster, having taken the call to action by his 9 year old. Cam gained more than just the admiration of his son for trying something new that seemed difficult. He re-ignited the spark that was always present within himself.
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Taking a new step in times of uncertainty, unpredictability, complexity and chaos IS scary. But it is NECESSARY. The brain is like a muscle and needs the tension, the resistance and the new experience to make it grow. And we get stronger. We re-focus. We move forward. We feel vibrant and alive. We get this unbelievable feeling of exhilaration and you say to yourself, “I can’t believe I’m doing this and it is AWESOME. What was I worried about??” When we Say YES and DO NEW THINGS, we stop analyzing and we bloom, we boom and we Embrace the Chaos!
Rule #2: Say YES and DO New Things | Embrace the Chaos! | Bob Miglani