No, despite the headline, this is not going to be your typical “it’s a new year, so bring in a new attitude” column. Although nothing is wrong with those, and any kind of motivation to improve one’s outlook on life is not to be minimized. However in this month’s column, we take a slightly different approach. I am going to call it “make a move.” Meaning this: If you are thinking of doing something a little out of your normal comfort zone, maybe something you have thought of before but never acted on, or a completely new idea that fascinates you, the theory is to just do it. Make a move.
What is the old saying? The only regrets you have are the ones you never acted on. It holds solidly true here. When I look back at my life there were three “make a move” moments that helped change my life. Interestingly, none of them at the time were major or dramatic decisions, just simple moments of taking a little chance.
One was calling up my local recreation department at the age of 16 to see if they might need any coaches: A seemingly innocent, but still tough-to-make phone call for a young teenager that turned into a 40-year-plus coaching career. The second was reading a small advertisement about doing your own radio program. After much consternation, I finally called and pursued it, which led to many years of something I really enjoyed doing: sports talk radio on three different radio stations.
The third is why you get to hear from me every month here. I never had any training or experience as a writer, when somewhat haphazardly, I contacted our local hometown newspaper to see if they might want someone to write on community sports programs. The editor was less than thrilled with the prospect, to be honest, but he let me do a couple columns. Long story short, it led to writing every week for the paper for six years, two books and my “contributing columnist” gig at Chicago Star.
So, you never know. But you won’t know unless you take that chance. It could be a minor adjustment in your current job, or maybe some unique idea that you have wanted to try, or maybe talking to that girl or guy that you have been afraid to approach.
Any seemingly little thing could end up having a major positive impact on your own life. But you won’t know until you “make a move.”
Jon Cohn is a New Eastside resident. Email ideas for Jon to firstname.lastname@example.org.