Leo Diaz

Sharing insight on life, productivity, and the pursuit of our creative calling.

The Inevitable Inflection Point

When I was younger I would climb up huge oak trees, swim out to the buoys despite direct orders not to from my parents, pick fights with kids a lot bigger than me, and ask out girls that were way out of my league.

Thinking back, I can’t tell you exactly why I was so bold. Maybe its a genetic thing unique to the oldest child that makes us a little more prone to experimentation? Yeah, that sounds about right. We’ll go with that.

Theories aside, what I can tell you is, as the ramifications of these daring decisions started to accumulate, my propensity to these uninhibited acts gradually faded away.

Sadly, for the majority of human beings, the older we get, the less bold we become.

We start playing it safe. Every year that passes brings along with it a more intimate connection with self-consciousness and fear.

By the time we reach our mid-twenties, we second guess everything, golden opportunities are met with reluctance, dares lose their appeal, and doubt seems to stalk us everywhere we go.

Our youthful boldness is exchanged for self-restraint, skepticism, and political correctness.

For those that are okay with mediocrity, there’s nothing wrong taking this posture towards life. It’s the high road. Most people go this route.

But for those of us who are pursuing our life’s work, our vocation, the progress we make from within our comfort zone will eventually come to a screeching halt.

And that’s when boldness will come calling from underneath the rug we’ve been sweeping it under.

If we want to reach our next round of creative, professional, physical, social, and emotional prowess we’ll have to reacquaint ourselves with that tree climbing, deep-end diving, bully-provoking boldness.

The Boldness Synapse

In biology, the synapse is a tiny microscopic bridge that connects two neurons together. When an electrical or chemical signal reaches the end of a neuron it’s the synapse that bridges the gap to allow it to cross over to another neuron. Without the synapse, the signal would hit a dead end and never reach its destination. Like driving down to Disney World before the age of GPS.

When it comes to our creative progression, I like to think of boldness as the synapse between our comfort zone and a riskier, yet optimally rewarding level of achievement.

Anyone who’s pursuing a goal but is doing so from within this realm of minimal risk and maximum restraint will undoubtedly reach a point where the level of effort they’re putting in will no longer be good enough. Their creative momentum will stall out like that old four cylinder you drove around during your college years.

This is a point we all face eventually in our individual endeavors.

It’s where hitting the publish button twice a week is no longer landing you the same amount of eyeballs. Or investing 4 hours a day and making seventy cold calls no longer yields the same results as before.

This natural phenomenon is called “THE PLATEAU EFFECT”.

We see it mostly in the health and fitness world where, after a period of consistent results, a persons body acclimates to a particular level of effort thereby causing weight loss and/or muscle growth to plateau. Or in the words of a good friend of mine,

“No More Gains!”

In order to break this plateau, as suggested by the fitness gurus, the person has to change certain aspects of their routine. This is done by adding more weight to a strength routine, increasing the volume/frequency, or changing up their diet altogether. This sudden change shocks the body and reactivates the fat burning, muscle building, ab chiseling process once again.

In the case of our independent pursuits, the results from our safe and restrained efforts begin to wane and our only hope to break this creative plateau is to take bigger, bolder, more intense steps forward. Steps that most of us would much rather avoid.

We will all inevitably reach this inflection point in our quest for world domination. Several times even. And when we get there we’re left with two choices:

1. Either keep doing what we’ve been doing and hope through the power of osmosis to unblock the clog in our creative pipeline.

Or

2. Step out of your comfort zone, stand up to your fears, challenge your vulnerabilities, and make a bold move towards your highest contributing self.

My choice is option two. What’s yours?

About Leo Diaz

I share ideas, insight, and higher reflections on life, business, and the pursuit of our creative calling.

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