A Soft Landing: #ALeapOfFaith Recap
When I created #ALeapOfFaithChallenge just over a month ago on a whim, I had no idea of the impact it would have on me and my life — and I really had no idea of the way it might resonate with friends, colleagues and total strangers. And while it began as a 30 day challenge to look at the world differently and try to think about some things and just jump into others, it’s grown into something larger. And if it’s okay with you, I’m going to recap some of what I’ve learned over the past month.
- Take the Leap: At the risk of stating the obvious, sometimes you just have to stop thinking and overthinking and just dive in. I didn’t have any great plans for this challenge other than to try to offer a glimmer of hope or inspiration and something of a challenge to anyone who might be up for it. It ended up being a great challenge to myself as well, since some days I had client deadlines, holidays and grief to deal with and wasn’t sure I’d be able to post.
- A Little Help From Your Friends: Despite having written books offering my own insights into topics including prayer, business and advertising, it seemed a bit presumptive to imagine that I could keep anyone’s attention on a daily basis for 30 days running. Lucky for me, I come across interesting people on a daily basis (I’m even related to some of them) and was able to tap into their wisdom on some of the days of the challenge.
- It’s Fine to Question Your Faith: Despite having written a book on prayer and creating a challenge about faith, I have questions about my own on a daily (hourly?) basis. I was recently interviewed and when asked about my struggle, I explained that people of faith tend to have a very specific reputation as being rigid or unfunny or somehow out of touch with the world at large, and I find those stereotypes laughable sometimes and depressing at other times. Believing doesn’t make you inherently out of touch with the world at large (unless you choose that as part of your belief and observance), but it can keep you grounded when it feels as though the world is spinning out of control at times.
- Your (Twisty) Path is Yours Exclusively: I’m quoted today in Investor’s Business Daily in a profile of Christian writer C.S. Lewis, best known for his Narnia chronicles. Lewis didn’t come easily to his faith. He was a devout atheist for 16 years until friend after famous friend (including J.R.R. Tolkien) encouraged him to find his faith. And he did. In the article, I said about Lewis that “He never believed anything blindly or blandly, and fought his way back to theism painfully and incrementally,” and “Without struggling with his own white whale, creating the strong backbone of his philosophy, he never would have been so influential in building what we would call his personal brand.” Questioning something and still believing to the core of your being doesn’t make you weak, it makes you more interesting and more deeply the person you are or were meant to become.
- Find A Soft Landing: I use that expression a lot in my personal life. For me at least it comes from a place of forgiveness and acceptance. And it’s also about accepting your own foibles, failures and feet of clay. For most of the leap I didn’t have a ton of subscribers to the newsletter. I was fine with it since there was never any pressure to perform or achieve but more to see what service I could offer to random strangers. Could I make you laugh or think or nod in agreement? That was all I ever hoped for. I was posting one day when I realized that I’d completely forgotten to include a sign-up section on the main page, which meant that people randomly happening upon the site had no idea of how to take part in the challenge on a daily basis. I kicked myself and then I forgave myself.
- Know When to Call it Quits: I committed and kept to a 30 day challenge. Hurrah! And now it’s time to move on. But…
- Know How To Evolve: While working on #ALeapOfFaithChallenge I found a different facet of faith. It had less to do with any great religion or spirituality (though those made their own appearances) and more to do with sharing thoughts and experiences with strangers and friends. I’m going to try to keep writing a weekly newsletter and am also hard at work on the launch of MindfulMiss™ a new resource for people trying to add a little bit of zen in their days.
And so for now, I’ll bid you farewell. And if it’s not too annoying, would you mind taking a moment to drop me a line, leave a comment or fill out this extremely short survey to let me know what you thought of the challenge?
And you can catch up on all 30 challenges here:
(and because I can never finish a trip without hearing some version of this song, here’s “Fly Me to the Moon” sung by then seven year old Angelina Jordan. Life takes you by surprise sometimes – here’s to more of the good ones).
Sign up for the (not exactly) daily #ALeapOfFaithChallenge reminder: