There's only one real reason we’re not pursuing our big idea

Have the courage. Take the leap!

Have the courage. Take the leap!

-      “How many of you have a big idea you’re dreaming of accomplishing one day?”  Many hands in this morning’s audience rose.

-      “Who’s actually bringing this big idea to reality?”  I and a few others now raised our hands.

-      “For the rest of you, what’s stopping you?

-      “Time,” “money,” “a plan” were the answers.

As I listened to the answers, I realized that these were in fact NOT the reason we do not accomplish our big ideas, our dreams. The actual – and underlying – reason we don’t pursue our big idea is COURAGE.

It takes unbelievable courage to

  • Release the stories we hold about our identity and value to the world

  • Listen to the call of our big idea

  • Trust the fact that, if this big idea is the gift we’re meant to provide to the world, God is going to do everything in his power to make it happen (for those who wish to substitute Universe, please do so)

  • Take the step, even when we cannot see the path or the outcome, even when it feels like we’re taking a step off the cliff 

Oh, I know, easier said than done.  I’ve heard the voices that counter what I just said.  “I’ve got a mortgage.  I’m married with kids.  My current responsibilities take up all my time.  I need the funds before I start.”  The facts of your current situation are very real and true.  I’m not saying to ignore your reality.  I’m saying that seeing these as blocks comes from a place of fear, of scarcity.

And, for the record, I share from deep, personal experience.  I was on the track on which so many of us are placed:  good grades, good school, good job, beautiful family, nice house and happiness ever after.

 And then four years ago, I was called… into prison.  Yes, literally.  One morning, in my meditation, I heard the words “to go prison.”  I had never even considered this portion of our society.  I’ll admit that prison simply did not exist in my world.  And yet, I felt this profound tug, deep, deep inside me.  I could have ignored it; relative to the other screaming voices in my head, it was faint.  And it was persistent.  And so, finally, after some continued internal nagging, I took the first step:  I googled “prisons in San Diego.”

 And every step on this journey – from my first time in maximum-security prison, to starting to organize a TEDx event inside prison, to deciding to put my professional ambitions on hold to found a nonprofit, to realizing that this journey is about healing our society’s cycle of separation and violence – EVERY step has been taken in this way:

  • Release what I believe to be true

  • Listen to that voice within – my brilliance inside, as I call it – that speaks truth

  • Trust that I’m completely supported

  • Take the step

This takes COURAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 And it creates miracles!  I could write a book about the miracles already created.  Miracles for myself, for the prison residents, for victims of violent crime, for the volunteer team, for the prison system, for our community-at-large.

 So, can you have the courage to have the courage to take the first step and honestly explore your big idea?  (Yup, it takes courage to step into courage.)  You simply have no idea of the brilliance you’ll create, the lives you’ll change, the rewards you’ll receive, the unbelievable life you’ll get to live.

Mariette Fourmeaux