I can’t stress enough the importance of having a big, trained up, heavy set of balls. Man or woman, it doesn’t matter. In fact, I know many women with bigger balls than most men (like Andi of Whisky, Ink, & Lace), balls that I aspire to have some day.
I’m not talking about the swinging set hanging between half the world’s legs, I am talking about the balls that help you break through comfort zones and get things done. There are too many blogs (including mine), books, and motivational Youtube videos that urge readers and viewers to break through the comfort zone that binds them. However, when you take a step back, there are a few things that stand in the way of actually getting that done:
• A Reason or Goal to be achieved
Without a reason or goal to be achieved, the motivation will simply not be there. Without persistence, we’ll likely end up at square one soon later. But without balls…we simply won’t move.
Balls get us in front of a crowd to speak, in the face of a person we’ve been meaning to confront, or to move to a new city when we know no one there. These are the more extreme cases, though. These would make most people anxious. They are not a part of our normal everyday routine.
But then there are the ruts that we put ourselves in. We become so snuggled up to the way we’ve been surviving that we miss out on the chance to live. This is “breaking out of the comfort zone,” but at the micro level. By replacing the easy routine with actions that will reap better benefits (the goal), making that the new routine (persistence), and having the balls to actually do it, you start living.
I assume that as a person continues to improve their routines over and over again they become leaders of the world. I’m not exactly sure. I’ve only tested this on myself at the lowest levels, but the results have been tremendous. I’m not looking to become a leader of the world (yet), but I am looking to become a pro-active life-liver rather than reactive.
A few examples:
• Almost every single work day for the last month and half, I have gone for a 1.5 mile walk while listening to an educational podcast, usually either Tim Ferriss or Freakonomics . I do it for a couple reasons. I want to be healthier, I want to catch my breath from a crazy morning of selling, but more importantly, I don’t want to become too comfortable doing lunch they I always have been. I would eat at my desk, be done in 5 minutes, and then mindlessly click around on Reddit or watch a tv show. It took some balls, not much, but it did take some balls to make the switch.
• About a month ago, I was sent on a business trip to Southern California where I was to demo our software product, mingle with the potential customers, and give a short speech to a crowd of about 75. This was my second ever business trip, first ever on my own. Airport parking, bag checking, plane boarding, hotel checking-inning, selling and speeching were all up to me. Nobody would be there with me to tell me if what I was doing was right or wrong.
I told myself the night before the trip that I was going to be as ballsy as possible. All balls. No looking back. And boy did that trip go great. Not only did I have SO MUCH FUN, but my balls allowed me to give a confident speech and command conversations with potential customers. I ate dinner with new friends I met by having the balls to introduce myself. And the best part? Management continues to ask me to go on these trips and give these speeches because I did so well.
I don’t really see a downside to taking life by the balls and doing things I wouldn’t normally do. The real question: do I have the balls to keep using them?