A buddy of mine from college got married last weekend. We went to Chicago to celebrate him and his new bride, and to toast good times. We told all of our favorite stories for the thousandth time, and we laughed until the wee hours.
And one phrase of ours from college kept coming up again and again:
“Do it for the story.”
Do it for the story was something we said when we needed a push to try something we knew was going to be hard.
Do it for the story was the motivation to be courageous, even when the odds were long.
Do it for the story was a reason to go for it, just because.
We were a pretty grounded group of guys back in college. 95 percent of the time, we did the reasonable thing.
But there was the 5 percent of us that was a little bit crazy, that was willing to try something maybe that shouldn’t be tried. It was the wild card in each of us, and you never knew when it might come out and make one of us try something unexpected. That 5 percent is the reason I ended up in China covering the Olympics, and the reason I ended up in Biloxi in 2012. It’s the 5 percent that — to quote the immortal words of “Risky Business” — made you say, “What the fuck.”
It’s good to be unreasonable. It’s good to push yourself to do crazy things. When you grow up, you learn that it’s so easy to get caught behind walls of your own design. Sometimes, you need to force yourself outside of your day-to-day and do something big, even if you’re not quite sure why you’re doing it in the first place.
So try something crazy. Do something you’re not supposed to do.
Do it for the story.
That photo of skydivers taking the leap comes via a Creative Commons license and Flickr user Laura Hadden.