“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”
— Benjamin Mee, We Bought A Zoo
I’m well aware most people consider this to be a children’s movie, but I think there’s some solid lessons we can all take away from it. For instance, the above quote is a lesson in itself.
With a show of hands, lets answer a couple questions. How many of you have wanted to do something and haven’t? How many of you have wanted to talk to someone and shied away? I’m sure there’s a lot of hands in the air right now. My hand is up too. The thing is…we’ve all been there.
Lately I’ve been giving this some thought and I’ve come to the conclusion that there might be something to this whole twenty second thing. Maybe it’s like jumping into a cold pool. We can’t just dip our toes in and climb in inch by inch as each part of our body gets use to the temperature. No, it leaves too much time for us to chance our minds. So maybe we have to jump in wholeheartedly. Maybe we just have to take the plunge.
I’ve thought about the last three months in relation to the above quote and realized how I’ve surprised myself. I’ve looked back on some other aspects of my life and noticed some great things came out of taking a chance, a twenty second chance. Sometimes those seconds are used to encourage ourselves to go for it (whatever “it” might be) while other times those precious seconds are used for the beginning of a conversation (whatever that conversation might be). I think those twenty seconds act like a jump-start — afterward our words and actions seem to come somewhat easily.
Of course we might fell anxious or nervous, but that’s natural. Taking a chance on something we want (like our dreams) or talking to someone (a boss for a raise, an employer at a job interview, a friend about problem or a person we find attractive, just to name a few) is better than hiding in a metaphorical hole with regrets, wondering, ‘what if.’
Some wonderful lessons can come from the simplest places, such as a children’s movie, and I think there’s truth in the above quote. All it takes is twenty seconds. “And I promise you, something great will come of it.”