So often in life we get chances that we don’t take. And, some of us worry that we missed our big chance. This episode points out that we don’t just get one chance, but we may need to take action to ensure that we are ready the next time a chance comes along.
Episode 4 Show Notes
- Book – What do you do with a Chance?
- Photo of my winning cover art on the actual publication – one year late and replica of original design.
Episode 4 Script
This is Rebecca Clark episode for Can Success Wait? This’ll Podcast is for anyone that knows they haven’t yet found and offered up their best work but are compelled to seek it out and do it. Are you ready to move? Hello, This is Rebecca, and thank you for listening to the show today. The title of this episode is Can Success wait? I’ve thought a lot about this over the years, and I wanted to share a story from when I was really young where I learned this concept and have thought on that experience many times in my life.
And so maybe I was supposed to have that experience as a young woman to remember going forward, so I was not an amazing artist or anything. But in the fifth grade, there was a contest, and this contest happened every year for the school district that I was in in Michigan. And what you would do is submit your artwork, a poem, a short story or a book cover to this contest, and they would put the winning entries into this book for the school district children every year. And I don’t know if you had to buy it, You probably had to buy it, but if you’re a winner, he would get a free copy.
And I thought that book was very cool. So I must have seen it in the fourth grade and wanted it. And so anyway, I’m in the fifth grade 90 side. I have this great idea for the cover, and the idea was like, if you remember the back pocket on a pair of jeans and I put the name of the cover on the jeans kind of like that was the brand name. I think the brands back then they were popular were like Lee Levi, Jord Ash, because this was like, early eighties.
So So I would write flight, which was the name of the publication and the year. I don’t remember what the year was, but then out of that pocket, I had kind of like a ruler and a little notebook and a pencil And it, you know, it conveyed kids going back to school kind of thing, this little pocket and there was something inside of me that felt like I was goingto win that contest. Well, there was a particular way you’re supposed to create your entries. It has a special piece of paper.
You had to use a special pen. You had to follow these directions. Um, you know, there’s something about you couldn’t use pencil. And if there are any race remarks or something, it was just very specific. And somehow I made a mistake when I was tracing my design onto it or something, and I don’t know what happened. I got another piece of paper and I was too flustered or something happened where I just decided. You know what? I’m not gonna win. I’m not even gonna try to get it into the contest.
And of course, my parents, my teacher, the friends that had seen it were kind of appalled that I didn’t submit this entry. I don’t know if I was just really close the deadline or what happened, so I did not submit it to the publication out. So obviously did not win while in the six grade. This contest comes around again. And I just had this feeling that I would win the cover. And yet the other part of my brain was saying, Rebecca, that was the feeling last year.
You’re older now. The expectation would be that you haven’t even better designed to enter. And you still have the exact same idea that you had in the fifth grade and you’re gonna share it again now. Well, my mind. Ah, the part of it that was willing to do it one out this time And I submitted that. And I did when the cover. And if you were to look to see the other cover entries because some people that didn’t win the cover got the inside cover our the back cover, you would see that my art skill was actually inferior to the skills of the other people that submitted.
In fact, my cover was inferior to the version I created in fifth grade. My recreation of it was not a cz Great is that first time And yet I still won because I was supposed to have that cover. That idea was supposed to be out there, and even though I wasn’t ready for my own idea to be out there, it was supposed to be out there and I look at it and I can see that the art is inferior at the same time. It represented better what the childhood experience was like in school, and so from that perspective I can see that I won also, from the perspective that it also looked like a child created it where some of the other ones, you’re like, Wow, that’s quite precise for 1/6 grader.
Now I happen to know one of those sixth graders and know that they were very talented and everything they pursued, and so I knew it was his art. But this story has stayed with me many times in my life when I have lost guts to pursue something when I think I have missed my opportunity and I just want to give up on something. I remember that experience because their impressions that come to our mind that I believe are meant for us, because we’re the ones to bring that into the world or bring it to people in that particular way.
And it’s just our job not to judge it and to act upon it. And so, as I do in some episodes, I like to further convey a point. Ah, using a book framework, and I have a children’s book that my husband picked up for my son, our son and I had never heard of. This book’s a lot of these books I’ve never heard of, surprisingly because I read a ton of books when I was a child. But there’s a lot of great new ones out there. And like all the other books, they’re written by adults.
And the adults are sharing things that are applicable for both children and adults and lessons they wish we had learned. So this little book is called What do You Do With the Chance? And It’s Britain by Kobe Yamada. And I guess he has two other books that I have not read. But I want to get there called What do you do with an idea? And what do you do with a problem? I mean, come on. I’m gonna have to bring that on the show because those just a great little topics we all deal with them every day.
So this book, there’s just a little boy and he seems to be walking along with some classmates with a teacher, and they’re portraying a chance as kind of like a little yellow paper airplane. If you can imagine that, uh, they’re walking along and he sees this little yellow paper airplane, and he calls it a chance. And he’s like it just showed up and it acted like it was for him, and he didn’t know what to do with that. You know, he is with this little group of kids in a teacher, and this chance kind of like comes and hits him on the shoulder and then flies away and then comes back, and it’s kind of going around him, and he didn’t know what to do with it.
He’s so in wonder he just lets it fly away. But after flies away, he’s thinking about a lot, saying, I wish I took that chance. I didn’t know if I wanted it, and I didn’t have the courage. You know, he’s kind of embarrassed because he’s with all his friends, and then he’s going walking around another day and another chance comes by and he decides to try to get that chance, right, because he missed the other one. But somehow he must try for it too late wars not tall enough to reach it or something falls and trips and kind of embarrasses himself in front of these teachers and these kids.
And so, as some of us do when we try and are embarrassed and fail, It’s something we kind of pull back a little bit. There’s there’s just so much embarrassed or like OK, forget that I’m gonna ignore it, Not gonna have anything to do with it. And so when these other chances come around, this little boy ignores wth um and then, as he ignores wth, um, he realizes they never come back. They’ve completely and utterly left him. And so it was very clear that when we didn’t care about the chance, we don’t give a good effort to the chance of react.
Too embarrassed with it. It just leaves. And there’s very there’s a lot of value in that, I think, because sometimes when all of us I’m stepping out of the story for a minute here. What? All of us kind of go through this where we wish we had taken a chance but were embarrassed and thought we weren’t good enough or weren’t gonna try harder next time or, ah, just give up. I’ll just put my head in my book and keep doing my work. We can also have these moments where our brain start working more and we start questioning ourselves.
And that can be a negative questioning. Or we can turn that into Wait a second. Why am I afraid? Why am I not brave enough to take this chance? Why am I thinking I’m not good enough when other people seem to be taking their chances? And what do they have on me? I have Justus many skills and experience as they might have, or I’m willing to try other things. Maybe I need to be willing to try this if other people have taken the chance and it’s worked.
And so this little boy discovers that maybe he doesn’t have to be brave all the time. He just needs to be brave at the right times and that it’s a choice. And I really like that that this is a choice that we can make that once there’s another chance that presents itself, we’re not gonna hold back, and we’re gonna be ready for when it happens, and we’re gonna be willing to take it. And so what’s interesting to me in this story is when he goes through this thought, processes, thought process and thinks this, Then he notices that on just a regular day.
He sees something in the distance, and he starts wondering if that’s his chance. So notice that at the beginning he’s just walking along and this chances floating around him, trying to get his attention, and he’s not sure if he wants to take it now. His mind has changed to where he’s seeking chances, and so this time there’s no chance around him. But way off in the distance, he’s recognizing something that could be a chance, and then he starts actively pursuing it. Ah, he wants to find out.
He’s running hard toward it. He’s excited and afraid all at once, but just keeps going because he’s lost so many of these chances. And then as he gets closer, this is where he realizes, Wow, not only is it a chance, but it’s a huge chance. So we’ve got this huge paper airplane now that he is ready to reach up and grab and hold on to before it’s this little chance going around him. This time the chance is bigger than him and he’s reaching up and he’s grabbing onto it and holding on to it and then he gets himself on top of this chance and he’s in control.
He’s kind of the pilot of this paper airplane and is feeling great. And he realizes, Wow, I’ve been missing out because I wasn’t taking these chances And now he’s able to move forward and pursue whatever this chance brings. And I like the last page of this book, as he says. So what do you do with the chance you take it? Because it just might be the start of something incredible. This story, I thought, was a great fit with my story because it shows that we don’t get one chance.
There are many chances. And if we can all take that mindset of okay, I have messed up in the past. I have not taken certain chances in the past, but I can always start today. This can open the door for us to start looking out on the horizon and identifying chances, and we don’t have to wait for them to come to us. We can start the adventure of seeking those chances, and at first this may be something we need to practice in very small ways. Little moments at work or at home, where we have a thought and we’re a little afraid, but we go.
Okay, I’m gonna take a little chance on this, see what happens. And maybe you make mistakes in that process, but then going back and going okay, next time I take that chance, maybe I just need to present it slightly differently or introduced the idea in a way that is also honoring the person I’m giving the feedback to and gets us into that mindset that helps us want to continue to seek out other chances on the horizon. And I highly recommend getting this little children’s book because visually showing this little paper airplane is a chance and it hovers around you like a gnat to the change that takes place.
When you identify something further out on the horizon and you have to seek, you have to take steps. You have to push again the wind, the elements to get to it. But then it’s an even better chance, and it’s been waiting for you all along. So hopefully this was an inspirational nudge for you to keep pressing forward and realizing that there is a chance still for you to pursue What is the best work for you enjoy the day. Thank you for listening to another episode of the move your desk show.
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