October 15, 2015

When she jumped and I wasn't ready yet

Luciana never really crawled. She went from sitting to standing to walking at the 9-month mark. Now, she is two years old and her new thing is jumping. She loves doing it. She jumps on the bed, on the couch, and basically on any surface she can stand on. The word “fear” has not made its way into her vocabulary yet.

One time she was standing on a ledge by a window while we were looking outside and watching mamá take the last parking spot across the street. As mamá gets out of the car, my phone rings. I walk one step to pick it up, and when I turn around Luciana says “Papá, catch me!” and jumps off.

Fear can stop you. Have you ever heard of “paralysis by analysis”? That’s just a fancy way of saying “I’m too scared to act,” and this inevitably leads to regret.

The opposite approach involves having a “bias for action” – it is the notion of thinking, jumping, and adapting along the way in order to be successful. It is one of the pillars of innovation.

There may always be something to lose, but most of the time the benefit of jumping is well worth the risk. There’s never a perfect time to take a leap – to leave the comfort zone, like my two-year-old child jumping off a three-foot high ledge trusting that she’ll be caught.

The beauty of it all, though, is that we adapt quickly, and we figure things out. Yes, sometimes, we make mistakes, but when we mean well, those mistakes become lessons. If we fall, we pick ourselves up and move on.

When Luciana was born, I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. I still don’t know, but I finally decided to take a leap and do something to figure it out. She grows up fast, and sometimes this scares me because I want to give her the best life possible, but at the same time I’m in the process of figuring out what that even looks like. Being a dad has taught me that there is no time to hesitate.

As soon as I heard “Papá, catch me!” I threw myself to the floor and caught her right before she hurt herself. Luciana gives me no time to hesitate and I can honestly say, though unnerving at times, it’s definitely more fun this way.

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