Success Strategy: Stretch Yourself

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Whether you are an individual, a sports team, or an organization of any kind, there is truly only one way to grow, and that is to stretch. If you don't go to where you've never been, then you will continue to travel the same road over and over again.

A Vacuum Will Be Filled
It doesn't matter if you are talking about the empty lot across the street or an empty shelf in the grocery store, something will grow or something will appear where there is space. In the case of the empty lot, it could be a house with a custom home and a beautifully manicured lawn if it is given a purpose by someone. Otherwise, it will just grow weeds. In either case, the space will be filled.

What Does This Have to Do With Stretching?
When you have a purpose, stretching will cause the space between where you are and where you are going to be filled with resources that will take you to where you want to be. Generally, the mere process of stretching strengthens your character and increases your ability.

As with anything we do in life, there are risks. This applies to stretching as well as to not stretching. Sometimes when we stretch, we stretch too far. How far is too far is a tricky question because some of the greatest successes of all time came from people who took big risks. For example, both Bill Gates and Michael Dell dropped out of college to pursue their dreams. The most common risk with stretching is quitting before you achieve your goal. Just like stretching a rubber band, the further to extend in life, the harder it is going to be.

Don't Be Afraid to Fail
Before you stretch, ask yourself what is the worst thing that will happen if you fail. Generally, when you frame the risk like this, the fear of failure loses its power. Without fear, you are more likely to press on to achieve your goal. Even if you don't achieve your goal, you will be more capable than you were before you tried. It is the same principle as building muscle. You must push your muscle beyond what it can bear before it feels the need to grow. In fact, muscle growth is achieve by tearing down the muscle fibers so they rebuild bigger and stronger than before.
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