There’s a secret art to pushing someone off the edge.
In my wilder years I used the art for dares and orchestrating absurd feats of amateur machismo. I’d talk friends into rappelling out of trees, moving the kicker ramp back that much further from the landing or downing another car bomb. I convinced friends to come skydiving or toss their last pennies into one more road trip. Convinced them that it would all work out in the end.
Some of my closest friends dubbed it “peer support” since it wasn’t quite peer pressure but it wasn’t too far off. I guess I’d help them put into action that which they were temporarily resisting – for better or worse.
Lately, I’ve tried to use the power for good and I’ve come to realize that the secret to pushing someone off the edge is less about a jarring shove and more about the nudge. Less force. More bump. A bit of nuance.
The nudge requires proximity. You’ve got to be close enough to the recipient that you can brush shoulders and trace their steps stride for stride and side by side. A shove requires you to step back into someone’s life (which is rarely effective at a major crossroads). The nudge just twists an arm. It's gentle and intentional, to the point, and it isn’t intended to hurt anyone. It's calling a bluff without boasting. The nudge says, "I know you better than that, and you know you better than that."
It’s about recognizing the possibility of a different trajectory. It’s tender course correction without guilt or shame. Encouragement instead of mandate. Less volume. More virtue.
I’ve received a bit of both and dealt my share of each. But I know my path today reflects a series of nudges that deserve my utmost gratitude.
So here’s to friends who told me to go for it; for family who had my back; for mentors who said, “try this”, and authors who said, “keep at it”; here’s to friends brave enough to chase down dreams, and those elders with such fresh truth. The nudge is all around us - nearly as frequent as those who may need one.
So learn to nudge and be nudged. Speak up with class. Have some awareness. Skip the shout and try a whisper. Go for the long play.
Stay close to those close to you and bump them time and again. Shake things up when they go astray or play it too safe. Recognize when you’re coming in too hot. Take note of those who nudge you and thank them for their impact.
Because when people start to move past their comfort zones and out of the shadows, things really take flight.
- January 2017
- Dec 26, 2016 Grateful For: Awkward 20s Dec 26, 2016
- Dec 23, 2016 Grateful For: This Dec 23, 2016
- Dec 22, 2016 I Sat Inside a Storm Today Dec 22, 2016
- Dec 20, 2016 Differential Thermal Expansion and Butterfly Bandaids: A Gallery Dec 20, 2016
- Dec 16, 2016 Grateful For: The Nudge Dec 16, 2016
- Dec 11, 2016 Grateful For: Puffy Jackets Dec 11, 2016
- Dec 7, 2016 Hike with Us On Saturday Dec 7, 2016
- November 2016
- Oct 8, 2016 How To Have an Adventure Oct 8, 2016
- Jul 1, 2016 Backpacking as a Metaphor for Life Jul 1, 2016
- March 2016
- Nov 11, 2015 Yosemite: A Story of My Heart, My Sister and Our Father. Nov 11, 2015
- Sep 4, 2015 Untamed Sep 4, 2015
- Aug 2, 2015 Lava Cake and Straightjackets Aug 2, 2015
- Jul 9, 2015 Little Things & Big Pictures Jul 9, 2015
- May 2015
- March 2015
- Feb 17, 2015 Fanning the Flame of Your Inner Creativity Feb 17, 2015
- Jan 28, 2015 Muir Is the Man: John Muir Quotes and Mountain Musings Jan 28, 2015
- Jan 8, 2015 3 Secrets to Killer Blogging Jan 8, 2015
- Dec 30, 2014 15 Simple Ways to Make 2015 the Most Adventurous Year Ever Dec 30, 2014
- Dec 17, 2014 5 Awesome Adventure Videos to Get You Through Hump Day Dec 17, 2014
- Dec 13, 2014 Miss Aria Lee Dec 13, 2014
- Dec 7, 2014 Times They Are a Changing Dec 7, 2014
- Nov 19, 2014 Thanks @VansJerry Nov 19, 2014
- Oct 15, 2014 Forging Fatherhood Oct 15, 2014
- Sep 30, 2014 Daniel Kim Photography: Capturing the Light Sep 30, 2014
- Sep 23, 2014 Let's Get High Sep 23, 2014
- Sep 12, 2014 Unreal Adventure Vehicles and My Week With Red Bull Sep 12, 2014
- Sep 10, 2014 Beacons Sep 10, 2014
- Sep 8, 2014 The Pursuit Sep 8, 2014
- June 2014
- May 29, 2014 F-It, Let's Go Somewhere May 29, 2014
- May 14, 2014 An Insider Guide to Arizona Adventure May 14, 2014
- May 6, 2014 Shifting Gears: From the Valley to the Mountaintop May 6, 2014
- May 1, 2014 What Action Sports Taught My Professional Grind May 1, 2014
- Apr 30, 2014 Caps Off to the Many Layers of Spray Artist, Bill Taggart aka Dadsocks Apr 30, 2014
- Apr 25, 2014 Brutally Honest Travel Tips From A Totally Capable Nomad Apr 25, 2014
- Apr 25, 2014 If You're Reading This, You're In the Club. Apr 25, 2014