A bird left the safety of its home to fly and perch on the branch of a different tree. It doesn’t fear leaving the old and taking up residence in the new because it doesn’t put its faith in the strength of the branch upon which it roosts. If the branch should break, the strength of its own wings will keep it aloft.
I’ve had some major limbs break out from under me, both personally and professionally. In each case I had left the old to live in the new with great optimism and hope. Sometimes I felt the branch beginning to give way soon after I arrived. Other times I had no idea I was truly out on a limb until the bottom fell out. In either case, I not only survived but flew off to the next branch as a result of the wings of my experiences.
One of leadership’s most powerful laws is Exposure to Experience: the more you know, the more you grow. The more you go down, the more you grow up. The more beaten down you are, the stronger you become. My father, the late, great Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, wrote about this in his motivational classic, Life Is Tremendous. He used to tell me when I was younger that I need to “earn my stripes” and that good judgment came from experience which was the direct result of poor judgment.
He also said that we are all born with an empty psychological key ring attached to our side and every experience, good, bad, or indifferent, gave us another key with which to unlock the doors of life’s journey. The more keys the better. So believe in yourself enough to truly know that any experience in which you give your all will enable you to reach heights you never thought you could.