Life Isn’t About Playing it Small

Ink on Watercolor paper – Words: Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela spent decades in prison, in a small cell, working in the yard breaking up rocks. Not knowing from one day to the next if he would ever see freedom again. Instead of coming out of prison resentful, bitter and cruel he encouraged his country to change their ways and look forward. Work together to abolish apartheid and unify their land. He provided the leadership needed to transform South Africa into the nation it is today. Those are both the actions of a man playing it small. We can all be encouraged by his ability to forgive, move forward and give it his all.

When we face an opportunity there is excitement and fear. If we go for it there is the possibility of great success and there could be massive failure. We have the choice to give it our best, work hard and possibly do well or fail, or we can do nothing and know for certain that we will fail. That little voice of fear can convince us that doing nothing is the wisest course. If we do nothing and fail, then we have lost nothing. If we work REALLY hard and fail then we fail and have wasted time, energy and money.

Playing small, doing nothing, is a poor option. Settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living does no one any good, including yourself. It leaves you flat, untested and unmotivated. We all procrastinate out of fear, not knowing and being afraid to try is a very scary place to be. Worse yet is doing nothing and watching what you want in life fade away in the distance because you were too chicken to try. Daring to put in the effort, to risk failure and to work hard is far better than doing nothing and ending up with nothing. Life was not given for us to let it slip through our hands like sand at the beach. Life is too short to give up and give in simply because it takes too much effort, work or courage to move forward. Nothing worth having comes to those who sit around a play it small.

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