• alan8925


The picture above is ‘the big slide’ at the park where I spent countless hours as a child. Honestly, it scared the life out of me for a long time. It was big. Really big. The handrails weren’t high enough, the metal was red hot on sunny days and the cool kids would fly down head first. I wasn’t a cool kid.

I have no idea how many times I climbed those steps only to come back down the same way. The walk of shame! I can still remember the first time I came down that slide. I was sitting at the top trying to pluck up the courage to go for it. I’d probably been there a while – there was usually a queue up the steps, so turning back was almost as scary as the slide itself. And then a mate pushed me, and off I went. I survived. I remember going home that evening, proud that I’d done the big slide. This was 43 years ago.

Occasionally I look back on moments when I bailed. The job I didn’t apply for, the challenge I shied away from, the holiday I didn’t book, the race I entered but didn’t turn up for, the party I didn’t show up to. I wonder what life would have been like if I’d said ‘yes’ more. What if I’d been more confident?

I’ve worked on it over the years, but I’m no daredevil. So I try to surround myself with people who will inspire me, challenge me and remind me what I’m capable of. People who will push me off the slide when I’ve climbed up the steps.

Think about the people you surround yourself with. Who inspires you? Who challenges you? Who makes you a better person? Have you thanked them lately?

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