The decision you make every day.

A few weeks ago, I was walking to the stage to speak at an event.

I saw this on the ground and stopped dead in my tracks.


It might just look like tape at first, but this it’s actually a lot more than that.

This is the decision you have to make every day if you’re going to chase a dream.

Your stage might be different, but we all have one.

Maybe for you it’s sending an email to a literary agent.

Or filing an LLC for your business.

Or signing up for a night class.

Or applying for a new position at the company you currently work at.

Or simply ignoring the voices that ask you “who are you to chase a dream?”

Dreams, or stages as it were, come in a million shapes and sizes. And every day you have to make the decision, will you take the stage or take the exit? Some days, when fear is a roar, I feel like I have to choose the stage every single hour.

The exit is easier. It’s faster and more comfortable and a lot safer. Your feelings won’t get hurt as often if you take the exit. People won’t laugh at you if you take the exit. If anything they’ll welcome you with open arms. Average loves company.

Heading for the exit would be the easier thing to do, but I don’t think you should.

I think you should take the stage. Forget think, I more than think you should take the stage, I dare you to take the stage.

Today, I dare you to go right. To take out a piece of paper and draw too arrows like the one in the photo. Post the note on your laptop. Draw it on your bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker. Make it the wallpaper on your laptop or the lock screen on your phone. Hashtag it everywhere with #takethestage if you want other people to cheer you on. Do whatever you need to remind yourself you have a choice.

Because you do.

Every day, we get a decision.

Take the stage.

What’s one simple way you can take the stage today?

  • Kenny
    Posted at 07:46h, 04 August Reply

    Great post Jon, thanks for sharing. Just a heads up: “To take out a piece of paper and draw too arrows,” I think too should be two.

    • Scott
      Posted at 09:39h, 04 August Reply

      Well, I think it should be “to”, as in “To Exist and To Stage”. But that’s neither here nor there, now is it?

  • Brian Alexander
    Posted at 08:39h, 04 August Reply

    “Dreams that bare the mark of love are dreams that never die” – Colony House

  • Matt Ham
    Posted at 10:23h, 04 August Reply

    I love this brother. The stage has been calling, tugging at my heart for some time. Although I have stepped on stage before, this time, it has to do with publishing my book. I’m creating the landing page for the book release now. Time to take the stage.

    Thanks for radically drawing people from the exit to the stage.

  • Nick
    Posted at 10:33h, 04 August Reply

    I’ve been delaying looking for additional writers to contribute to my site so we can provide more awesome content from non-experts to inspire, equip, and encourage people to take personal responsibility over improving their relationships at home.

    I have a few people to reach out to directly and some groups to put it out to where I know of some awesome folks. Today, I can send the email and post the request.

    And that could lead to something pretty awesome!

  • Chandler
    Posted at 10:54h, 04 August Reply

    You have to convince yourself that it’s always better to make a decision than to not make one. Decisions seem to be final and it scares a lot of people. Maybe it’s commitment issues, maybe not, but at the end of the day you won’t sleep well if you fail to make a decision. No matter how large or small it is, it will be waiting the next day.

  • Victoria
    Posted at 11:34h, 04 August Reply

    Thank you Jon for the encouragement. One step I am working at today is choosing to silence the voices of the critics inside my head. Choosing to write and embrace the doors God is opening for me right now.

  • Tessa
    Posted at 11:51h, 04 August Reply

    I just put mine on a Post-It note on my computer at a job I like but don’t love.
    Thanks as always Jon.

  • David Mike
    Posted at 13:21h, 04 August Reply

    I have definitely taken the stage by bloging my messy life story. If you google my name or Dilemmamike, all kinds of stuff shows up that never used to before. No hiding anything now.

  • Jackie Bledsoe
    Posted at 14:51h, 04 August Reply

    Thanks for this today, Jon. It was right on time! I have my first speaking gig for a national conference this Thursday. And I know I will be faced with that decision everyday until this week until I actually step on the stage and give my talk.

    This is helpful…very helpful!

  • Ebonita
    Posted at 16:30h, 04 August Reply

    I made a decision this weekend that totally needed this confetti confirmation. #takethestage indeed!

  • Jody Noland
    Posted at 19:38h, 04 August Reply

    Thanks, Jon. Thank you so much for writing a post JUST for me!

  • Cindy
    Posted at 06:28h, 05 August Reply

    I’ve been taking a writing class and I was challenged, by the instructor, to combine two of my essays and submit it back to him. The self-criticism has been loud and I’ve been hesitant to do it. I’ve been afraid I’m gonna screw it up.
    I won’t let the critical voices win this time!

  • Janelle Keith
    Posted at 07:57h, 05 August Reply

    From one dreamer to another, thank you for holding our hands in the hard times. Thank you for believing in us to do the hard work, but also thank you for the hope this post brings in our today dreams.

  • Theresa @ AMomInTheMaking
    Posted at 09:09h, 05 August Reply

    I love the idea of #takethestage I’m going to use this with inviting people on to my podcast to interview them.

    I have had some “big” people say yes. But I still get nervous… Thanks for the encouragement. Tonight I am going to #takethestage and send out some new invites 🙂

  • chad
    Posted at 10:55h, 05 August Reply

    Thank you for being awesome. Today I take the stage by using truth AND love to be a stronger leader for my budding organization leaders. They deserve no less.

  • Kimanzi Constable
    Posted at 14:32h, 05 August Reply

    I’m going to finish an article for a magazine that I’ve been put off!

  • Zechariah
    Posted at 16:13h, 05 August Reply

    I’m going to try for some guests posts that I have been afraid to aim at.

  • Scott Asai
    Posted at 16:27h, 05 August Reply

    One way I can take the stage today is reach out to two people I can see networking/doing business with. The worst thing that can happen is they say no…and I can live with that. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Anna
    Posted at 23:58h, 05 August Reply

    I was to choose exit or lead a bible study which I has put off for years due to fears. Well I chose the leader ship this time. I’m scared but excited and plus I can do all things through Jesus Christ.

  • Michelle
    Posted at 08:19h, 06 August Reply

    Thanks for this Jon!! I have been taking the exit for a long time. Last night I took the stage. I had a panic attack, but I applied for my dream job in my dream state of Colorado. I have dreamed of living there and doing work I love there for over 20 years. I thought I had been living a brave life. I’ve traveled the world, done all kinds of adventurous things, but they have all been temporary, they’ve been hobbies. This is life. This is the life I want to live. I didn’t think I had been taking exits, but I have. I’ve been aborting the flight before I take off. Last night I launched myself. I may crash, or I may soar. But I don’t want to live on the exit ramp anymore.

  • Vince Fowler
    Posted at 13:08h, 06 August Reply

    Simple and to the point. I really enjoyed the read and will be back for more. Thank you, Jon, for taking the stage and leading by example.

    I haven’t had much company in a long time… because I refuse to be average.

    Inspire on…

  • May Bohon
    Posted at 10:59h, 07 August Reply

    My husband and I are starting to work out together during #5AMClub. Today was day #2! So, our stage is the sidewalk next to our apartment complex. 🙂

  • Rebecca Forster
    Posted at 21:02h, 01 March Reply

    Jon, Adored that post. It resonated in more than one way. I grew two theatre geeks (now men in creative careers) but spent my formative years int he basement of theaters sewing costumes. Get on the stage has been a part of my mom life forever. It’s a part the best part of my writing life. Type those 100,000 words and put it out there. Haven’t been booed off the stage yet after 29 books but you never know. Just happy to be on it. Great post. Keep ’em coming.

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