Aim for the fringes

by Greg

Bought for me by my sister I’ve been reading ‘Talk like TED’ by Carmine Gallo this week. It’s jammed pack full of great advice for public speaking, but that’s not been my intention for reading it. As a designer and a studio owner, its imperative that I/we have the ability to communicate ideas effectively. Whether it’s a pitch for new work or presenting an idea, my/our ability to communicate well far outweighs the ideas themselves. That’s where my interest lies. The book is jammed with advice about presentations, but it wasn’t really any of the presentation advice that struck me.

There’s some very inspiring and remarkable people mentioned in the book. Their TED talks have inspired millions of people but there was a short sentence amongst all the stories that jumped off the page at me. (I’ve since gone back to try and find it but can’t!). Like always, you find ideas where you’re least expecting them.

‘Aim for the fringes’.

There’s so much about this one sentence and idea I just love. Where are you going with this you ask? Bear with me as I try to explain…

Most of us deep down want to make an impact however large or small. Whether it be in our personal lives or professionally, or perhaps you don’t see them as separate and they are one in the same to you. However we see the world, I strongly believe we all have a desire to do something of significance, for ourselves or for others. If you don’t, then I certainly do!

So often we’re held back or unsure. We approach with trepidation. If and when we choose to take a step and put ourselves out in the world we also desperately want to be received well and be validated. We want people to take notice and nod along in agreement with us. However, with the weight of that what tends to happen is we gravitate to the middle, or the safe areas and what happens is we just tend to blend in and lean further and further towards the status quo. So why then do we allow this to happen? How does this gravitational pull towards safety overcome us when deeply we know the most impactful and rewarding place to be is near the edge, toward the fringes and in the less familiar territory?

It takes courage, it takes bravery, and it requires a stoic resilience even just to show up and make a decision to act

I feel deeply challenged to resist this natural human tendency to tame down and blend in but to press further towards the fringes. It takes courage, it takes bravery, and it requires a stoic resilience even just to show up and make a decision to act, but I’m convinced of its worth and reward.

After all, there’s physically more space around the edges the further away from the centre you get. More space and possibility away from safety. More space, more freedom, more opportunity toward the edge.

Aim for the fringes.

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