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Years ago, I was moving into my new apartment. I had a 14-foot truck I had rented to get my stuff in, having been told that I could just pull up to the back when I arrived, through the back gate.

As soon as I got there, it was obvious to me there was no way it was going to fit underneath the top of the gate – the clearance was too low. I mean, like, by two feet. Any reasonable person would agree, just by looking.

As I was backing away to figure out Plan B, a guy in a BMW started to come out of that same parking lot, and he decided to stop and give me some advice. He asked me if I was moving in. “Yes,” I said. He said. “why don’t you just pull the truck into the parking lot?” I responded curtly, “The truck won’t fit.”

He paused. He looked at the height of the truck. He looked at the gate.

He looked me straight in the eye and with a slight shrug of his shoulder a hitch of his head said, “Give it a shot.”

I smiled. He’s serious – that much I could tell. I said okay.

I tried. Of course it didn’t fit. I had to park in the alley as my Plan B.

But the significance of that frame of mind wasn’t lost on me. I knew it wasn’t going to work. So did he, after he looked at it for a second.

My attitude was to give up. His was to give it a shot anyway.

I will remember that lesson for the rest of my life. I never saw him again. Heck, he might have just been visiting someone there.

But I have subsequently been giving things a shot, even if at first glance, it seems impossible.

Now, I’m not delusional – I know trying to fit that truck under that clearance wasn’t going to work, and no matter how much I wished, or pretended, or wanted the truck to fit, it wasn’t.

That’s not the point. Because I realized upon reflection later that I often didn’t try – didn’t give it a shot – on things I was much less certain would fail. Giving up without even trying was something I was doing often.

As we begin the new year, no matter where you are on the spectrum, I challenge you to increase your willingness to find ways to implement this.

Give it a shot.

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