Crossing the Invisible bridge
Growing up I had some favourite movies that I could watch again and again. The Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns and the Star Wars movies (the pre-CGI ones). And then there was Indiana Jones. And when “James Bond” played in the movie, Sean Connery, it made the film more worthwhile – for me at least.
But there’s one scene in that movie that stayed with me because I couldn’t figure out the meaning behind it – the part where “Indi” has to cross what seems an impossible gap and do so with a “leap of faith”. And in the background you hear Indi’s dad (Sean Connery) say, “You must believe boy, you must believe”.
It wasn’t the first time I’d heard of the phrase but it was the first time that I saw it expressed visually. I’d heard it expressed in religious circles only. No one seemed to speak any more about it.
A couple of decades later I came across the phrase again. This time it all made sense. I finally understood what a leap of faith meant.
Making the leap
Up until that point I linked the phrase “a leap of faith” to a physical action, such as jumping onto the nets from a height on an assault course, parachuting (trusting in the chute) and even the religious side which has to do with trusting wholeheartedly in God (harder to do than most people think).
A leap of faith is not JUST a physical action but it has to be preceded by a mental one.
That means that before we can actually move towards that thing that we want to do in life, that change in career or job, leaving an abusive relationship, moving country to start a new venture or starting a whole new venture, we have to get to the point where we believe, completely, that it is possible. Or at least that’s what you might think.
The truth is that the action follows a decision to make it happen, even though there is still a fear that things may not go 100% as we have them planned. In reality nothing happens as we plan it. Factors out of our control cause us to adapt, just like a plane on autopilot adjusts every so often to stay on track after being blown out of it’s route by the wind.
By making that decision to move forward we are taking that leap of faith. We are putting faith in ourselves and that things will work out regardless of the challenges that we will have to face. It’s a decision that says, “This is what I want to do and nothing else. I will keep moving towards it until I make it happen”.
Falling down – on purpose
I’ve come across articles where a CEO, a business owner, a high roller, have decided to leave that life altogether and “downgrade”. They chose to change their lifestyle altogether. Some do so as a result of health; stress, lack of sleep, poor diet, lack of exercise all have a negative effect on our life if they are not correctly balanced.
They chose to change their lives so they can have a better life, to spend more time with family, to take care of themselves, by reducing their workload and subsequently their earnings. For them money had lost it’s glittery shell and living a life became more important.
Our values don’t stay the same. As we grow our values change, as a result of experience and circumstances. A single person will have different values when they get married to a person they care for and love. Consequently they will change certain habits that are a compromise to the relationship.
If getting married is not a leap of faith, then what is! Why? Because from the beginning we believe that all will be rosy for all our years, which turns out not always to be so. We learn more about each other because we become more intimate with each other.
As a result we open up more and our partner sees us in our full glory, our true persona, especially after the “honeymoon period” of a new relationship has past. But like everything else, a good relationship takes effort – on both sides.
Taking the leap of faith doesn’t always have to be taken as a single jump, like in the life or death situation that Indi faced. We can take it a step at a time to move towards our goal but taking the steps towards your goal shows that you have faith that it will happen.
We’re not talking about those goals which you know you can do, such as buying a coffee table at the end of the month when you get paid. That’s not a real goal. We are talking about crossing the line of fear towards a goal that seems so big, so impossible, that when it happens it is the impossible made possible – it’s flying a rocket to the moon. Soon enough we’ll have people on Mars. Once that was impossible.
The change can be a steady change. You don’t have to quit your job to build your dream, but you do have to start building your dream to get there. Use the resources of the job you currently have to create the dream and make it a reality.
There will come a point where you will have to transition from one to the other, to leave the safety net of an employed job and become self employed or a business owner. That will be your leap of faith. Leaving the safety of one thing to the relative unknown of what’s new. I say relative because by then you would have a plan in place, all that is necessary will be in place, not perfect because it will never be, but everything will be in place. What’s unsure is how it will work out.
At other times circumstances give us no option but to make that leap with the hope and faith that things will work out. Again, when we have a mindset set to success, to things working out and to possibilities, the outcome will always be better than when we go into a new venture with a negative attitude.
When our back is against the wall, when we have seen the strand of a new life and we can feel it, smell it, hear it and almost touch it, there is no way back.
Whether that critical point is because of circumstances beyond our control or self induced, the outcome is always the same. We have to make that move to make things happen. We trust in ourselves and make that leap of faith even though we don’t know where we are going to land.
What if you couldn’t fail? Say you decided to be naive enough to decide that you can do it? What if you got advice on how to get there and followed that advice? And then, even though you still didn’t know if everything was going to work out, you still took that leap, having faith that you will find a way to make it happen?
When we know we can do something it’s easy. When the goal seems so incredible, that we have to grow and become more than we are now, we step back.
A leap of faith is a leap into the unknown! It’s not about knowing that it will work out, because it has done before. It’s about stepping out into thin air with the faith and belief that even though the step is a little bit further down or up than you thought, you will still land on solid ground. And if not, wings will be provided to carry you across the void.
So, today, what is that leap of faith that you are avoiding to make that will get you closer to your ideal life? What is that one thing that you fear doing that can change your life for the better?
It’s not about being able to see where you will land. It’s about having faith that you will.
Creativity is always a leap of faith. You’re faced with a blank page, blank easel, or an empty stage.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.