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The choice between 20 seconds of insane courage or a lifetime of regret

In the movie We Bought a Zoo, Benjamin Mee (played by Matt Damon) tells his two children Dylan and Rosie how he had to muster up “20 seconds of insane courage” to approach the beautiful woman who ultimately became his wife, and their mother.

Reenacting the encounter for the kids, he takes them to the café table where they met. He pictures her sitting there alone, takes a deep breath, and asks, “Why would a wonderful woman like you want to talk to someone like me?”

With a welcoming smile Katherine (played by Stéphanie Szostak) looks up and replies, “Why not?”

And that, Benjamin tells Dylan and Rosie, is where you two began.

For anyone who has ever asked for the date, asked for the sale, asked for a loan, or asked for help, the 20 seconds of courage they needed to drum up might indeed have felt insane.

But tell me, what would the real insanity have been for Benjamin? Those agonizing 20 seconds of pushing himself out of his comfort zone by introducing himself to a woman he didn’t know? Or a lifetime of regret for having not had the courage to do so? And a lifetime of wondering “what if?” he had.

The three most important words in my book The Florence Prescription: From Accountability to Ownership are Proceed Until Apprehended!

Weaving those three words into your mindset, into your heartset, will help you overcome the temporary terror of asking, of trying. And avoid the pain of regretfully wishing that you had.

Like Benjamin Mee, you just might find that the answer to your “Why?” turns out to be “Why not?”