Living Life on Your Edge

You can live a safe, predictable life, or you can live a wild, chaotic, unpredictable life. The former provides you with a sense of safety, and the latter a sense of excitement.

Living your life on the line that separates these two extremes is what I call "living life on your edge."

One secret for living life on your edge is to do something in your life that scares or intimidates you.

It's a wonderful way to grow and challenge yourself.

When I was 20 years old, I was intimidated by the consulting industry and the case interview -- BUT I did do it anyway. (I'm so glad that I did!)

This month I joined the Girl Scouts and volunteered to be a meeting leader for my youngest daughter's troop (the parents take turns leading each meeting).

I am TERRIFIED -- but I'm doing it anyway.

I'm sure I will figure it out, as I usually do (though not always within the time frame I prefer). But, not knowing in advance what I will do or how I will figure it out makes me nervous.

(I ended up reaching out to my network and they've been very helpful.)

Here's my question of the day:

What are you vigorously pursuing in your life that intimidates you?

Share your thoughts with me below.

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96 comments… add one
  • Beatrice Johnston Jan 21, 2016, 10:04 am

    I am vigorously pursuing selling from the heart, meeting people where they are and leveraging what we have to offer to help the most people we can.

    I appreciate you Victor and enjoy seeing your e-mails when they come by. There is always something there for me.

    Be well,
    Beatrice

    • Victor Cheng May 18, 2016, 5:18 pm

      Beatrice,

      I’m glad. Selling from the heart sounds intriguing. Best wishes with it.

      -Victor

  • Nick Jan 21, 2016, 10:01 am

    Hi Victor,

    I am at this very moment in my life deciding to jump the proverbial academia ship for a career in management consulting instead. Considering I’ve only ever imagined myself as an academic for as long I’ve been in university (almost 10 years!), it’s a terrifying notion for me. But it’s exciting too. So long as my excitement just peaks above the fear, I know I’ll be just fine.

    In fact, I have a first round interview at BCG this afternoon. Bring on the terror!

    Nick

    • Victor Cheng May 18, 2016, 5:18 pm

      Nick,

      Good luck on pushing your edges. Regardless of outcome, it can be very exciting.

      -Victor

  • Paulin Byusa Jan 21, 2016, 9:58 am

    A marketplace start up for businesses and analytics services. Very challenging to find the right product/market fit and to sell.

  • Romer Benitez Jan 21, 2016, 9:56 am

    Hi Victor,

    It is so true that learning and innovation lie on those edges! I consider myself as a lifelong learner and currently I’m strengthening my leadership capabilities. I think I mentioned to you on my previous note about the ‘Total Leadership” framework by Stew Friedman. I’ve been doing this and exposing myself on various experiments or functions that are both meaningful and helpful in the integration process of the different domains I defined in my life. It sometimes pushes me outside the comfort zone but it eventually widen the zone as I realize that it is manageable. It is an exciting and fun journey and I’m hoping this will lead to a healthier and sustainable personal and professional life.

    Cheers

    Romer

  • Joan Jan 21, 2016, 9:52 am

    Hi Victor, I have been following your every post for 2 years now. Thanks for the constant write up, it gives me Paradigm shifts about things I thought I’m stucked at every time . For the past 1.5 years ago, I’ve moved out from my home country. And that’s a big thing for a 24 year old introverted Chinese girl who have never in her life, leaves home. I am residing in Singapore now. Alone and feeling empty at times, but I’m optimistic and constantly goes to the church and pray. Some times it filled my soul, but lately it has been really overwhelming. Not sure if I should go home already. I think its my job, but friends and family have been asking me to stay on as it is a good opportunity. and I get intimidated when friends asked what my passion is. Honestly, helping other people and seeing people around me happy drives me. I don’t have abig or great passion as my friends. They want to earn a 5-6 digit income, drives a sports car. I am not even passionate about shopping or buying new gadgets. Sometimes I felt purposeless in life. I can’t relate to anyone and start to feel inadequate and out of place most of the time. But I’m sure there’s something in the world that I would one day hang on to. However right now, I’m just on my lonesome journey of self discovery. I’m heading to London on my own this coming Feb! Haha sometimes secretly hoping for a life time partner whom I’ll meet unexpectedly at an unexpected place and time. I watched too much fairy tale I do admit. Avid Theatre fan here! Anyway, thanks for listening to my soap story. I’m sure you are laughing at this silly story right now. Hoping for the best and appreciate your every post. Keep doing what you are doing Victor! :)

    Love, Joan

    • william Jan 21, 2016, 12:45 pm

      Hi Joan,
      Such an coincidence to see your reply here. I am also a person who still searching for something I can hang on and sometimes I feel uncomfortable that I am not that thrilled by money. I have been in SG for few years and can introduce you more about the local culture.
      Best wishes for your London journey.
      W

      • Alberto Jan 22, 2016, 2:21 am

        Hello William and Joan, I’m also living here in Singapore and following Case Interview for quite some time. Shall we meet here and form the “Victor Cheng’s S’pore club”? I’m free for some drinks.
        Alberto

        • James Jan 24, 2016, 8:53 am

          Hi Joan,

          I empathise a lot with what you’re going through (and I’m 30!). I’m also in London, so let me know if you want to catch a bite to eat and talk about it.

          Cheers,

          James

    • Victor Cheng May 18, 2016, 5:07 pm

      Joan,

      Thank you for sharing your story. I didn’t laugh or find it silly at all. It felt honest to me. I think much of life is an on-going journey of discovery. It is one thing to not know what you want out of life and not do anything about it. It’s another to find your way. The latter is more uncertain and often very uncomfortable, but it leads to sometimes unexpected discoveries.

      Best wishes in your journey.
      -Victor

  • Geoff Jan 21, 2016, 9:51 am

    In August, I am going to move to Washington, DC to accept a position as a Senior Consultant with Deloitte’s Federal Human Capital practice. In July, my husband (we’ll be newly married as of May 29) will be starting his residency in urological medicine at Tulane, in New Orleans. Yesterday was his match day – we had hoped to be in the same city, but are now ready to live life on the edge. We can make it work – I will get valuable experience, be with friends, and likely be able to work remotely after a bit. He will be busy and fulfilled. We are terrified, but excited at the same time. This path will not be easy, but will lead to a great future. Take risks – they are worth it even if they scare the living day lights out of you.

  • Sachin Sharma Jan 21, 2016, 9:33 am

    1. Public Speaking
    2. Consulting

  • Vishal Jan 21, 2016, 9:32 am

    Hi Victor,

    Doing something that scares me has always been the idea that I have followed. I’m currently trying to run two startups along with a full time job, something that everyone has told me is impossible. One of the startups is in Ed-Tech and the other is to sell indian chai via a delivery service. Every day I wake up wondering if I will be able to survive another day and it has been okay so far (8 months in). I like getting your emails from time to time. Though I never went into consulting, I use a lot of the same principles in my startups! Thanks!

    -v

  • Glenroy London Jan 21, 2016, 9:28 am

    I am about to prepare my preliminary proposal for my DBA thesis on Knowledge Management adoption in Trinidad and Tobago re: Awareness and Readiness

  • DS Jan 21, 2016, 9:23 am

    Stretching ones boundaries makes us take calculated risks and immerse ourselves with new experiences. I did a trek last year for the second time in my life and now I am more confident on my physical abilities. This year I want to quit my 10year old job to try out a new professional career which I still dont know yet.

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