I have been posting about my planking experience after a friend’s visit. My friend, who is a bit wacky in a trickster kind of way, has taken on planking as the sport of champions. For me it is just a thing that people do. However, I put aside my desire to not be publicly humiliated and became the photographer of record for his Queens planking debut. Click here to view a short 30 second video on- Planking: A Happening
I drew the line at the insides of houses of worship and anything with sharp points or bodily fluids. There was one shot next to dog poo, but its defined shape and size gave me some small comfort. My friend, the trickster extrovert, pushed me past all levels of comfort, waking me up in the morning by banging on my door and loudly singing a wiener song he created just for me. In the eleven years I have known him I have never seen him embarrassed by any thing he has done. He loves the crowd, the limelight, the attention.
Ever the introvert, I can still rise to the occasion and be the speaker in front of the room, teach a class, or walk up to someone I want to meet and say hello. But, its done with great discomfort and angst. The past weekend taught me an important lesson; being outlandish, doing what interests you, despite criticism, is not generally life threatening.
My friend’s visit had me doing a lot of things I would not have done if left to my own comfort level. Using fear and the label of introvert has kept me in a small world. I have wrapped myself in false comfort. I understand that there is a balance I can achieve and I have my cave dwelling when I need it. However, is my own comfort level preventing me from achieving more success?
Are there ways you hide? Do you use labels to keep you from trying new things? Just wondering – who is the planker in this group?
Consider the qualities of my planker friend. He was brave, ridiculous, focused, curious, excited and willing to do whatever it took to achieve his goal despite criticism and the possibility of looking silly. Considering the qualities above, which ones are you lacking? Are you afraid of looking stupid? Do you have a good idea, but hesitate in pursuing it because you might fail? Have you lost the childlike curiosity to explore new ideas? Do you think Steve Jobs, Richard Branson or Oprah have any of the qualities of my planking friend? Which ones could you embody right now?
Three steps to using planking for success.
1. Feel fear and do it any way. Even if you are afraid of looking stupid, take a chance and try your idea out on an audience. Try it out on more hen one audience. Your parents may not be the best go to people for your ideas. Try some business groups, colleagues, etc. Ask what they like or not like about your idea.
2. Spark your curiosity. If you lack ideas – go visit a library. Do some sleuth work. Casually look around and observe the people in the library. What are they reading? Is it fiction? Magazines? What kind? Make a list of topics. Was there a trend? Take a topic or a trend you are not familiar with and go visit that section of the library. Let’s automobiles were a big trend then go pick up a history of cars, or a biography of Henry Ford. Spend a hour or so exploring the topic and then brainstorm some possible ideas about the topic. You don’t have to do anything with the research just use it to spark your curiosity and move you out of doing the same old thing.
3. Focus on one idea and see it through. My friend researched planking, created goals and took action. Doing that sparked him to step out and visit new places and try something different. Now he has new things to share.