The greatest albatross with which we burden ourselves is fear. It blocks us. It stops us. It paralyses us. It sits so readily and well-practised on our shoulders, around our hearts and in our minds that we scarcely recognise its presence.
I'm not thinking about the fear of parachuting and the like. I'm thinking about being scared to take that extra step, the one which in hindsight would have made a difference.
Sometimes we need to step outside what others tell us to do - the conformity and security of the approved way - and follow our hearts. We are then prepared to be ridiculed and to fail. For some people, the alternative is to live mediocre lives and to be paralysed by indecision and inaction.
As a teenager I was shy. So shy I assumed others didn't know or remember me. I often avoided making eye contact or saying hello. From time to time I would cross the street to avoid speaking to people I knew. Fear of rejection had its albatross wings firmly wound around me.
Now I recognise that we teach best what we need to learn ourselves. I spend most of my life now encouraging others to communicate from the heart. The way to do it is to hold that heavy albatross in your hands and go forward anyway. Soon the albatross will struggle to be free, to find a quiet resting place where it can be comfortable on someone else's shoulders. No albatross likes movement it can't control.
In business, and in life, I tried new ideas. I did some of the things I've always wanted to. Who knew where it will lead? Until I decided to give those things a go, nothing was going to change.
I have learnt that I will never completely fail. If nothing else, I have learnt how to do things better.
As I began to stretch and push my fears further away, I grew in awareness, confidence and strength. It has been a wonderful adventure and a great journey and I know it will continue to be.
This quote from the German philosopher Goethe speaks volumes.
"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness......
The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can,
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Begin it now."
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - 1749-1832
This photo was taken at the top of Kings Canyon, Northern Territory, Australia in June 2007. It took quite a lot of effort to reach the top and I was so pleased that I took up the challenge.
Kings Canyon is situated within the Watarrka National Park, Northern Territory, and is a huge canyon 270m high.
The line below is from The Killers song "Read My Mind". I loved this song from the first moment I heard it! The music is so tender and the lyrics just wonderful.
The stars are blazing like rebel diamonds cut out of the sun.