Out on a limb

Posted on February 15, 2018. Filed under: Uncategorized |

It’s feb 15th, 2018 and for the first time in quite some time i feel myself out on a limb. My entire career I’ve oscillated between periods of running hard at big goals and then chilling and decompressing when i either definitely have achieved them or missed them. This past year has been a restorative one. That’s not to say I haven’t been working hard. Despite not being accountable to anyone else, I get up at 6:15AM and get to my office by 9, put in full days of mostly reading and learning and investing in blockchain projects, but I wouldn’t say i’ve been stretching or reaching at all. It’s very comfortable, I push myself to the point of fatigue, but right where discomfort sets in, I take the pedal of the gas and go for a run or a long weekend or whatever I need to stay in that restorative zone. If there’s a project I love and want to invest in but it’s just out of reach…”ok…fine letting it go.” If there’s a person I really want to think with but they’re just out of reach…”no problem, i’ll focus elsewhere.” It’s not laziness, but in a restorative state, it’s just not worth it to reach…to make yourself vulnerable…to be uncomfortable and strive and maybe get what you want but possibly fail at something you are emotionally committed to.

Recently I have pushed up against a moment where discomfort was imminent, and rather than stepping off the gas and dropping back into that restorative zone, I found myself leaning in, exposing myself, absorbing the discomfort and choosing to move into it. As it was happening, I found myself thinking “ah, this is a familiar feeling…this is what I’ve been missing for the past year.” I know that’s odd, to be missing discomfort…but really what I was missing was the presence of something I cared enough about to want to reach again. As it turns out, I think that’s a pretty good litmus test for whether or not something is worth pursuing. The best things come when you open yourself up, step out of what’s comfortable, agree to exist in a state of vulnerability, and then bond with whatever is on the other side of it…be it a person or a project or a vision or an identity or anything else…I think there’s plenty of advancement in what you already know and where you are most comfortable, but the fundamental and defining elements of life come when your out on a limb…by definition they are the things that are truly worth it.

Nobody ever fell in love by playing it safe. Nobody ever built something special without embracing a state of self-doubt. Nobody ever became self aware without a struggle. In these and all arenas, there are periods of restoration, mild growth, and being in a safe state, and then there are periods of reach and challenge and discomfort that completely change your plane of existence. I think these moments of reach become less frequent as you get older. When you are young, you take these giant hacks at your existence and relationships and identity…you’re incredibly resiliant to vulnerable moments and discomfort and the periods of oscillation between reach and restore are quite short. I think once you’ve gotten through all the big hacks, developed a real sense of self and values and interests and identity, you have to listen harder for those moments worth reaching for. It’s no longer this broad experimentation that haphazardly lands you at your forward self…it becomes much more deliberate and therefore infrequent…I think it’s a fallacy to ascribe this phenomenon to the stakes getting higher as you advance. On the surface it might appear that you risk more by stepping out on a limb when you’re higher up on the tree. But in the arena I truly care about, which would be becoming who I am or finding wisdom or enlightenment or whatever the end state of my life looks like, each reach feels equal…just different. I don’t think I’ll ever stop reaching…if nothing else life feels richer in the moments where you do.

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    I’m a NYC based investor and entrepreneur. I think there is one metric that can be used to measure the value of a human life and that’s impact. How did you change things? How many people did you touch? How different is the world because you lived in it and how positive was the change that you affected? (p.s. i don’t use spell check…deal with it) You can email me at Jordan.Cooper@gmail.com


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