risked themselves and dared to experiment with their own life.”
~ Philosopher Herbert Otto
In my 31 years of coaching and consulting I have had the privilege to work with world-class athletes, executives, writers, pastors, entrepreneurs and performance artists. During all of these years of working with thousands of individuals, I have never had anyone tell me,
“Can you please help me become a mediocre performer?”
“You know Dr. Nick, I am making way too many sales. How can I become a little less effective with my clients?”
“What are some ways to slow down my writing career?”
“I really don’t care if my art makes it to the marketplace.”
“I am perfectly happy staying afraid and playing it safe.”
Not once have I been asked to help someone stay on the path to mediocrity. Yet, we tend to define our lives in terms of safety, lack of risk-taking and just “getting through” comfortably. An outrageous life doesn’t settle. It doesn’t put up with things being just ‘okay’.
Outrageous living is not comfortable. It is not ‘safe’. It does not look around to see if others are approving or if they are pleased by our behavior. An Outrageous Life is extraordinary and unconventional. At times our ideas will seem unthinkable and will exceed the limits of what others see as usual and ‘normal’ behavior.
Outrageous means we are exceeding the bounds of what may seem reasonable or expected by those living a life of safety and pleasing others.
Outrageous living is BOLD – we are not afraid to stand out with our art, performance or life. We are fearless, self-assured and confident. An Outrageous Life contains a daring spirit, is adventurous and ultimately is free. Someone committed to outrageous living makes bold choices, thinks big, refuses to be confined out of fear and is free of judgment and a myriad of ‘shoulds’.
Helen Keller described outrageous living as follows,
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeated.”
Are you beginning to see the picture of what an outrageous life looks like? I believe that, in fact, it is the picture of what you looked like as a child before you began to be afraid, before you gave up a life of outrageous risk-taking in order to please those around you and gain their approval.
During a recent vacation in Oceanside, I noticed a little girl, no more than 3 years old, standing near the water on the beach. She would stand there watching the water come in and then, as it headed back out, she would let out a bloodcurdling scream and run towards the water. As soon as her feet hit the cold water she would let out another scream and run back towards the sand. Yet, accompanying her scream was a HUGE smile on her face! She was bold and going for it – even while it was scaring her to death. Up and down, over and over she would run to the water, scream and run away laughing hysterically every time!
No one had yet taught her to play it safe, to not take a chance, to sit and watch the other kids have fun. She was determined to live outrageously – bold and willing to risk it all. When was it that you stopped running towards the thing that scared you? When did you give up going for what seemed impossible? Where did your boldness go?
Outrageous living includes bloodcurdling screams while going for your dreams with a huge smile on your face!
Question: In what area of your life (performing, creating or living) do you desire to become more ‘outrageous’ in? You can leave a comment by clicking the Comments box above.