The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland

The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week, legendary Science Fiction author Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451, the Martian Chronicles) passed away, aged 91.

Amongst some of the remarkable quotes that have been taken from his writings is this gem:

You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.

This statement really struck me.

It reminded me of all of the times when I have stood on the edge of a precipice, too afraid to take a risk because I’ve felt ill-equipped for the next step.

But what I’ve found is that if I wait until I’m ready, I never do anything, because I’m never ready.

Sometimes, I just need to take a risk and take the next step, not knowing what will happen next, but understanding that I have the ability to respond to my circumstances and to develop the skills required to be successful in this next phase of my life.

There’s a saying that necessity is the mother of invention, but how often do we place ourselves in situations that truly require us to be inventive and creative?

I know that I don’t do it enough.

And the cliff that Bradbury talks about jumping from?  It doesn’t have the jagged rocks at the bottom that we imagine it does.  The consequences of taking risks and making changes in our lives are much less dramatic than we would like to think, whilst the consequences of keeping our feet on the ground forever is a much less fulfilling life than we were meant for.

Walk up the edge of the cliff, feel the wind in your face, spread out your arms and jump.

And with the wings that you are able to build, you can soar to greater heights than you could have ever imagined.

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