How Responsible is a Leap of Faith?

by Nora Dunn on May 14, 2012

leap of faith

 

 

In many an interview, I’ve extolled the virtues of making a leap of faith into the lifestyle of your dreams. I believe that in order to instil big life changes, you can’t possibly have all the answers before you get started; a general plan, an intuitive gut feeling, and a leap of faith is critical.

 

But where is the line between taking a leap of faith responsibly, and doing so in such a way that you are ruining possibilities for your future?

 

Because sometimes, we make bad decisions. What if your leap of faith is a bad one?

 

 

When a Leap of Faith is a Bad Idea

Any leap of faith – good, bad, or otherwise – involves fear. That’s what makes it the leap that it is….you know you need to take a step, but you can’t see the ground below where your feet are about to go. It’s the proverbial “Indiana Jones” moment, where you must trust that there will be something to catch you…as long as you take that step.

 

But.

 

I believe a leap of faith can be misdirected if you are unnecessarily burning bridges behind you. Although you need to put full confidence in the path ahead when you make a leap of faith, I also believe that having options is important.

 

When I took my leap of faith into the world of full-time travel, I left doors open.

  • I invested the proceeds from selling my stuff so that I’d always have the cash to set up a home again whenever (and wherever) I chose.
  • I made sure I had no debts.
  • I even left the door open to step back into my financial planning career with relative ease (despite the fact that I was pretty sure I wouldn’t retrace my steps as such).

 

So even if things went totally awry in my travels, I knew I would not have irrevocably ruined my life or any part thereof.

 

 

Starting over is okay.

 

Digging yourself out of a hole that was avoidable is not.

 

 flexibility and strength

 

 

When a Leap of Faith is a Good Idea

Like I said before, fear is good. It keeps us alert. For me, the fear that accompanies a (good) leap of faith is like butterflies in my tummy. The same butterflies you get when you are about to go on a hot date or are about to do something exciting and different and don’t know where it will lead.

 

My (good) leaps of faith are also accompanied by a strong intuitive sense that what I’m doing is right. In my journey to becoming The Professional Hobo, I had a lifelong inner voice that insisted there was something else out there for me. When I finally made the decision to travel full-time, as counter-intuitive as it may have seemed from the outside, my restless inner voice was finally quelled; and with that, I knew I was doing the right thing.

 

 

Intuition, and “Knowing” the Future

Whether or not a strong connection with your own inner voice and intuition is required for a leap of faith to be successful, I don’t know. But I would suspect that anybody who has taken a big leap of faith has had some sort of inner confidence that things will work out just fine.

 

None of us can see the future. There is no light strong enough to illuminate the path ahead fully. Besides which, where would be the fun in life’s journey if you knew all the answers before you began?

 

light on the path ahead

 

I was recently asked the question “if you knew then what you know now, what would you do differently?” I have no answer for this. Because for me, life is about the journey; the journey of experience, knowledge, and even acquiring a few character-building bumps and scratches along the way.

 

I wouldn’t trade any of my bad experiences for the prior knowledge required to avoid them. Because it’s every single experience – good or bad – that has made me the person I am today and placed me exactly where I am.

 

And although my life isn’t perfect (is there any such thing really??), I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

 

 

What’s Your Leap of Faith?

So if there is no light strong enough to illuminate our path fully, all we can hope for is to see the next few steps, and use our intuition and faith to guide us until the next little bit of our path is illuminated.

 

Is there a path in front of you that you can’t see? That you’re scared to go down, and yet drawn to anyway?

 

Or have you already made a leap of faith?

 

Either way, what do you think are the essential ingredients to a “successful” or “responsible” leap of faith?

 

Please share!

 

 

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Ava Apollo May 14, 2012 at 1:46 pm

This was a good post for me to read at this juncture. My most recent leap was leaving a stressful and maddening job that kept me from putting my own blog out there. Best choice I’ve made so far this year!

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T.W. Anderson @ Marginal Boundaries May 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm

I don’t think any type of structured plan is a leap-of-faith. As you mentioned, you made sure you had a plan in place before you actually took the leap of faith; you had a backup plan in case of an emergency. The structure inherent in such a move lacks the absolute “OMFG” of a true leap of faith.

When I think leap of faith, I think of the moment in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, when he has to jump off the edge of the cliff. There’s no turning back for Indiana Jones. It’s all or nothing…forward or backwards. There’s no going forward only to have a backup plan, a rope, a way to get back to the precipice. There was only the leap itself: out into the nothing with absolutely no net below to catch him should he have fallen to his demise.

I don’t think having a responsible, financially sound plan, as well as backup plans and secondary options, counts as a leap of faith, at least not in my mind. But while I disagree with you on the terminology, I do agree with the methodology :) It’s good to have plans, even better to have backup plans, and sometimes the only way to know if something is going to work or not is to just DO IT!!!

However, if you’ve put all the ground-layers in place, you’ve got a backup plan, a financial way out, a ticket home…it’s not a leap of faith. It”s a calculated risk, one that has several backdoors out should things not go the way you want them to. In that sense…it’s not a leap of faith, it’s just another business decision that may or may not prove fruitful. And as any good business person does, they never burn bridges and they never leave just one way out of any given situation :)

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theprofessionalhobo May 14, 2012 at 3:56 pm

@Ava – Nice leap! Glad it’s working out so well for you too!

@T.W. – You make some great points. Maybe I didn’t make a leap of faith. Or maybe the leap of faith for me was in making the DECISION to sell everything and travel full-time without actually knowing what I’d do, where I’d go, how I’d make money, and without having set up any back-up measures – YET. Maybe the commitment to an unconventional lifestyle was the big leap for me.

Travel in itself often involves leaps of faith, sometimes daily. Some of the best experiences can come out of those times when we’re beyond our comfort zones, exploring new relations and places and having to trust in the fundamental goodness of people. That’s a form of faith that usually pays in spades. :-)

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Fab May 14, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Hi Nora,

T.W. is right 100%!!

Actually you didn’t make a leap of faith because you had a fair amount of savings and you could start again as a financial planner!!

You’ve brought it brilliantly because you had tried successfully some other careers and in so doing you had built a strong self-confidence!! It had been the fruit of your previous jobs and personal development!!
Not a leap of faith!!
In any case, sincere congratulations!!

People who make true leaps of faith are those people who risk all their assets ( financial, intellectual and emotional ) on ventures in which they believe in with all their hearts and if something goes very bad, they don’t have any good other option like yours, they must start from scratch again!!

You could say: Why do they risk so much?

Sometimes life puts people under strong pressure and there is only one option to pursue, otherwise you lose!! And in those cases, you must play it at any cost, whatever it takes!!

Obviously, the most ideal situation is something like yours when you have another valid option if all goes bad!!

All the best!

Fab, greetings from Italy.

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Lauren May 14, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Last night I booked a one-way flight for the first time in my life. I’m going to a place I’ve never been before (Bangkok), don’t know for sure if I’ll be able to secure writing or teaching work (though I will try my darndest!), and risk coming home with my tail between my legs if I fail to make something work.

I’m drawn by the idea that while my life in Australia is privileged in a lot of ways, I don’t appreciate that one must work themselves to death in order to survive (bit of an oxymoron, really). I’m not excited by the notion of a job that only grants you a few weeks per year to travel – it’s just not enough – and leaves you only a handful of hours each day to do the stuff you WANT to do (before you’ve put aside time for exercise, preparing healthy meals, spending time with your loved ones and keeping a tidy house). People are tired and stressed, and it’s killing them! There’s no way I’m putting up with that for forty good years of my life.

So, hopefully it’s a good-enough excuse to go down a not-so-traditional path…I’m still not 100% sure. I booked the tickets over twelve hours ago and I’m still freaking out, and probably will for the rest of the week. But (I think) it’s the good kind of freakout, as you describe. Perhaps this is what constitutes a “leap of faith”.

:)

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Benay May 14, 2012 at 8:40 pm

My favorite saying use to be, ‘Leap and the net will follow’. I heard that at life coaching school – go figure :-)

Man that saying got me into some trouble! Six years ago I quit my job with no plan B in mind and started a business (I knew NOTHING about running a business)! But, like you Nora, I wouldn’t trade that hardship for anything – talk about character building!

Saying that, I wouldn’t advise people to go cold turkey like I did. I think you can still get the lessons and character while covering your butt!

I like how Tim Ferriss puts it (paraphrased), “What’s the worst that could happen if you go for your big dream now?” and “If the worst happens, what would you need to do to get back to where you are now?”

Basically, have a plan B before your Leap of Faith. You’ll build character, while following your heart with the added bonus of a safety net ;-).

Thanks for another thought provoking article Nora.

-B

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flipnomad May 15, 2012 at 1:00 am

great post Nora… i have been on the road now for more than a year and it’s a huge leap of faith after leaving my corporate life… but along the way i realized that i am just not travelling and enjoying my life but as well as learning a lot of things that i could use once i go back to an employed life i’m also gaining more confidence because of my travels and im sure it would help me in the future setup other means of livelihood…

safe travels
-flip

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BobH May 15, 2012 at 5:42 am

Risks in life vary – take that job, ask that girl out, speak the truth, start that business, etc. Do we only take those risks when we can control or predict the outcome? How many make a checklist to see if the pluses outweigh the minuses? How do you measure the risk vs the reward when you don’t know what you don’t know? Do you play it safe and hold back? Or do you shift blame for not being able to do something – my mortgage, my wife, my boss, I don’t have time/money/(fill in here). Do those external considerations really hold you back? Sure I know there are responsibilities, but those were a choice too.

I think what has held me back at various times in my life is fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of others judgements, loss of face, and fear of embarrassment. But confronting my fears to follow a dream has proven to be my most valuable life experience. I have always believed the worst thing would sitting in the rocking chair some day when I might not physically be able to do something and say “I wish I had done that”.

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theprofessionalhobo May 15, 2012 at 10:30 am

Thank you all for the thought-provoking comments!

To those who suggest that I didn’t make a leap of faith because I had backup plans in place, I’ve thought about it and would like to offer up this (inspired by Bob & Lauren’s comments) – even if we have *some* backup plans in place and have done our best to calculate the risks, can it not still be a leap of faith in an emotional sense?

As Lauren said, she’s risking coming home with her tail between her legs if she can’t make something work. I had the same possibility/fear when I started traveling….sure – I wouldn’t have had to live on the street in a cardboard box and start from scratch again, but I’d surely have had trouble looking people in the eye if I felt I had put so much on the line and “failed” in my quest for full-time travel.

As Bob says, these fears hold many – if not most – of us back from taking some of the big leaps we dream of.

So money in the bank or not, can’t everybody experience a leap of faith?

I’m not trying to defend myself or justify my decisions; despite my ability to “create” a safety net after making the decision to travel, I feel like I did put everything on the line to engineer this life of mine. Every aspect of my life as I knew it was to change, and I had no idea how to do it or if it would be for the better or worse. But I was willing to find out…..by making a leap of faith that it was the right thing to do.

I’m truly intrigued by this conversation about what really constitutes a leap of faith.

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T.W. Anderson @ Marginal Boundaries May 15, 2012 at 10:51 am

A leap out of an airplane with a parachute is not a leap of faith. You have a primary parachute, plus a secondary ‘chute, and if it’s your first time you are also with a highly trained professional who also has a primary ‘chute and a backup. It is a carefully planned, well thought-out and calculated decision. You don’t just leap out of the plain willy-nilly…you have plenty of safety netting in place to safeguard you against accidents.

Jumping out of an airplane without a parachute or a trainer with a parachute while naked and praying fiercely to your chosen diety to give you the power to fly…now THAT is a leap of faith.

Just my two cents :)

However, I do understand that feeling of putting everything on the line. That’s a natural feeling for people leaving their home country behind and striking out for international destinations to make it work elsewhere. But I don’t think of that as a leap of faith, because you’ve done X months of research beforehand, you’ve been planning, you’ve been networking and investigating and prepping….and by that point it wasn’t a leap of faith, but rather a calculated decision that you were naturally somewhat fearful regarding because it is our human nature to fear change.

I was there when I first moved to Bulgaria and left the States behind back in January of 2008. Nervous, wary, somewhat fearful because I had just left the place where I had spent the past 28 years of my life primarily residing/living in. But I never felt as if it were a leap of faith; I knew what I was doing and had made plenty of plans beforehand to cover my change of location, and since then it’s just been further modification.

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T.W. Anderson @ Marginal Boundaries May 15, 2012 at 11:04 am

@ Lauren’s comment

Good on you. There is absolutely no reason you should be thinking any differently. You know…I was debt-free at 29 and for all intents and purposes retired by the age of 31. Now I’m 32 and while I still “work” a few hours a day maintaining my online enterprises and selling my digital products, I’m really not part of the work force, nor do I rely on banks or any government. I am 100% self-sufficient, and I didn’t have to wait until I was 65 years old to achieve retirement or explore the world in my free time. I also didn’t need anywhere close to a million dollars; I achieved an early retirement and absolute freedom with a mere median-wage job. It’s my primary passion, teaching this to others…that you don’t have to be a wage slave, that you don’t need to stay plugged into The Matrix…that you can have absolute freedom any time you want it…you just have to view the Entire Earth as your home and unplug from the system :)

If you are interested (please feel free to moderate this if you aren’t a fan of people linking to other articles on the subject), I just posted the first in a new series at my blog called “The Secrets of My Success”, and it’s looking at the sheer number of non-travel-bloggers who are living their lives location independent. My good friend Hans put himself up for the first interview, and I just posted it today. He’s just a normal guy who decided to give up the 40 hour work week grind and started doing things like buying motors in Japan, selling them in Canada, then going to Congo to buy gold and re-sell it in Canada, and now he runs a variety of websites…and he did all of this before he was 30 years of age. Without any help, other than reading on the Internet. (http://www.marginalboundaries.com/2012/05/the-secret-of-my-success-prowebcom/)

I also have another good friend who has does stocks. He’s not a pro blogger or an online guru…he’s just a dude who makes 30-40k a year trading stocks part time and has spent the last 30 years traveling throughout South America. He doesn’t blog about it, he has a house back in California, but he chooses to live abroad and enjoy the world with his money rather than suffer through 40+ years if indentured servitude back in the U.S. He hasn’t been back since the mid 70′s, and he is finally going back this summer….to sell the house and buy property in Chile or Brazil.

If you are just started out, there’s one piece of advice I can give you: network, network, network and read, read, read. There are dozens of blogs just like this one (I actually found your blog (Hobo) years ago through the Location Independent website/forums back when they were still running those, although I don’t think I’ve ever posted here officially) which have SO MUCH INFORMATION on different ways you can make income online and different ways to do things. There is no single path…there are a hundred different ways to the mountain top, and it’s up to you to find the ones that resonate with you and can help guide you in your own specific way.

Best of luck on your new adventures :)

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Steven May 15, 2012 at 11:16 am

I had a similar conversation this weekend. The people I was with wanted to know all the details (where we were going, directions how to get there, etc.) and I had to laugh a little because I believe in figuring things out as I go rather than trying to know everything that I might encounter ahead of time. Doing it that way means taking a leap of faith, knowing that you’ll find your way. It means facing your fears (not knowing can be quite debilitating) and taking risks. Fear is probably the biggest reason why people in their comfort zones, but if you want big things in life, you’ve got to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Otherwise you’re just left with a life, perfectly ordinary.

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Fab May 15, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Hi Nora,

I agree again with T.W. wrote in his first post after your last comment!

I try again to explain why in my opinion you didn’t make a true leap of faith!

a) Let’s start from the right definition to avoid any kind of misunderstanding!

leap of faith:

The act or an instance of believing or trusting in something intangible or incapable of being proved.

Source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/leap+of+faith

In your case, to make a living as a professional hobo didn’t imply believing in something intangible because you could work as a travel writer, English teacher for foreign students ( online and offline), jack of all trades or receptionist for bed and breakfast, you could even set up a website of financial planning, etc.., all these examples weren’t't intangible means to get by for a smart girl like you, in fact you succeeded!!

Apart from that, you had a fair amount of savings and you could start again as a financial planner!!

b) You say:

“even if we have *some* backup plans in place and have done our best to calculate the risks, can it not still be a leap of faith in an emotional sense?”

Yes, but from your personal emotional point of view!!

In life and in general, there are: facts – interpretations – emotions!

Todo Depende!!

In conclusion, I repeat what I said in my previous post:

You had successfully tried some other careers and in so doing you had built a strong self confidence!!

It had been the fruit of your previous jobs and personal development along the journey!!

Not a leap of faith!!

In any case, sincere congratulations!!

All the best!

Fab, greetings from Italy.

PS if you had only worked as a shop assistent in a boring shop, would you ever have imagined to make a living as a professional hobo?? Mission Impossible!!!!

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BobH May 15, 2012 at 4:45 pm

To Leap of Faith or not Leap of faith, that is the question. I believe the use of the term to be more of a metaphor for taking a risk without a certain outcome. Society has developed a structured pattern of values taught and enforced by group and peer pressure. Choosing the non-traditional path, places one at odds with society. I believe it takes great courage (overcoming your fears) to face the trials that choice presents. Whether training, hard work, or planning is involved is irrelevant. I don’t see a courage barometer that makes one better than the other. It is more important that a choice was made to follow your heart and choose your path. Not the one society dictates or makes easy. Kudo’s to all who choose their path – we should celebrate them all.

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Heidi @GreatFamilyEscape May 15, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Wow, who knew the terminology ‘leap of faith’ would be so hotly contested? I absolutely agree that yours was a leap of faith. You stepped blindly into a new, unscripted, non-traditional lifestyle, outcome unknown. I’d say that takes faith and guts, even if you’re smart and put safeguards in place.

I love the bit about not trading your bad experiences for the prior knowledge needed to avoid them. Hmmm…. Such a neat way to look at things – truly ‘no regrets’.

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Colin Reynolds May 16, 2012 at 2:32 am

Don’t listen to the killjoy pedants who try to persuade you that your leap was somehow flawed. Good on you for living your dream!

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Prime May 16, 2012 at 2:38 am

Dear Nora:

I actually admire the way you did it. It’s both hopeful and pragmatic. I don’t care whether that’s a leap of faith or not. What I care about is that you live your life based on your own terms.

Honestly, I admire people like you who make calculated risks. You used whatever resources you have to arrive at a best decision for your life.

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theprofessionalhobo May 16, 2012 at 9:19 am

Thank you to the recent commenters who can identify with making a leap of faith, and expanding comfort zones, regardless of an individual’s situation and circumstances. It’s so unique to each person.

Since we’re deep into the philosophy of it all using myself as an example, here are a few points to consider:

@T.W. – I’m sorry, but jumping out of plane without a parachute isn’t a leap of faith. It’s stupid.
I don’t believe a leap of faith has to be extreme or life-threatening to be a leap of faith.

Have you ever heard the story (I’ll get the details of it wrong, but here’s the gist) about the man who waited for the hand of God to save him? He sat in a boat in the middle of the ocean, no food, no water, but lots of faith – waiting for the hand of God to save him.

He drifted by an island, with an oasis, coconuts, and fresh water. He could have stopped there and nourished himself, but instead he drifted away, trusting that the hand of God would save him.

He found a kit floating in the water with dry flares that he could fire for rescue. But he let it float away, trusting in the hand of God.

A helicopter came to rescue him. He refused rescue, safe in the faith that the hand of God would save him.

Eventually, he died of exposure in that boat. At the pearly gates, he deplored God. “Why didn’t you save me?”

“I tried to,” said God. “I sent you an island, I sent you flares, and I sent you a helicopter, but you refused.”

The hand of God can take many forms.
Let’s try to live in the real world. Faith can be pragmatic.

@Fab – Again, I can’t help but object.
You said: “In your case, to make a living as a professional hobo didn’t imply believing in something intangible because you could work as a travel writer, English teacher for foreign students ( online and offline), jack of all trades or receptionist for bed and breakfast, you could even set up a website of financial planning, etc.., all these examples weren’t’t intangible means to get by for a smart girl like you, in fact you succeeded!!”

First of all, when I decided to travel full-time, I didn’t know how I’d make a living. Yes, I had skills and experience which eventually parlayed into my Professional Hobo career. But don’t we all have some shred of skills or experience? Just because it was possible for me to make money a few different ways didn’t mean it was a sure thing.

But according to your last comment, the only way I could EVER make a “true” leap of faith would be if I had no skills, I was stupid, I had no experience, I was untrainable, and broke.

Come on, folks! Seriously.

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T.W. Anderson @ Marginal Boundaries May 16, 2012 at 9:44 am

Hmm.

I can see your point of view :) You feel that the mental act of leaping was the “faith” part. And maybe, for you, it was.

But in regards to the plane analogy… (in my mind) if a naked person jumps out of a plane and actually BELIEVES that he will be able to fly…because he has absolute and unequivocal faith in his diety…it’s not stupid, at least not from his point of view, because he has faith. That’s why it’s called a leap of faith…he has faith that he will fly, that he won’t die, that he won’t splat like a pancake on the ground.

That’s faith. It’s believing in something that has absolutely no tangible or viable reason for “being”. Something that cannot be quantified or identified, scientifically or otherwise. It can’t exist, it can’t be real…but because you believe in it, it simply is.

But making the jump with a parachute and a backup plan…that’s rational thinking. It’s not really faith (in my book). It’s a calculated decision based on planning and strategic thinking. The person doing the jumping isn’t putting his hopes and dreams on a “maybe” or a “might be”. He is doing everything in his power to use protection to ensure he doesn’t splat on the ground. In his case, it’s less about faith and more about calculated risk assessment, which is a valuable real-life and business skill.

I hope you don’t think I’m dissing you :) I love your blog and your writing, I just am providing an alternative point of view.

I do think, however, that yes, in regards to your last comment on this last reply, a true leap of faith is only possible when you believe in something so much that you are willing to do things that other people say are absolutely stupid…like jumping out of an airplane without a ‘chute….and KNOWING in your heart that god/fate/destiny/whatever will come to your aide and make it all better. That’s what faith is.

Having a game plan, even if it’s only so much as knowing that you have X, Y and Z skills that you can put to use in your next endeavor, isn’t the same thing, in my opinion.

When you went into your new career as a professional hobo/lip/digital nomad, you knew that you had skills. You had a rough idea of what you were capable of, even if you had never done the task ahead. You might not have known exactly what route you would take, but you at least had a rough idea of “This is what I can do, here are some options, let’s see what works”.

In my mind, that’s not faith. That’s intelligent reasoning. It’s you being a smart, intelligent, rational human being who laid out the options and said “This is what I can do” and you ran with it. As far as butterflies in the stomach go…I think we all suffer from that any time we go into a new venture. Not because it’s an impossible venture, but just because we are human…and part of being human is fearing change, fearing getting out of our comfort zone, and being fearful about the “what ifs”.

But no…you certainly didn’t jump out of a plane naked, nor did you just one day wake up and say “You know what…I don’t have any skills, any money, and no experience…but I BELIEVE that I’m going to become a millionaire tomorrow, because I have faith that it’s my destiny!”

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theprofessionalhobo May 16, 2012 at 10:32 am

@T.W. – Awesome points. Thank you for your thoughtful comment (and for not taking offense to my somewhat aggressive response)! Maybe the term “leap of faith” has become diluted in becoming commonly used jargon for stretching ourselves.

I’m noticing that the word “faith” – which commonly holds religious connotations – does seem to carry with it some high emotions and strong convictions. As only “faith” should!

Maybe the disconnect for me in this discussion is between my actually MAKING THE DECISION to travel full-time, and then FINDING A WAY to make it work. I feel like you and Fab are combining these two very separate moments in time, and in a sense discrediting the faith I needed to sell everything I owned without any clue what the rest of my life would look like, and risking everything from my career to my social life and even family relations to pull it off.

“The Professional Hobo” was non-existent for me when I decided to travel full-time – as was travel writing, location independent careers, and every single aspect of this career of which I was completely and totally unknowledgeable. Truth be told, I pretty much accidentally fell into this career. It wasn’t a plan – or even a back-up plan. Faith, perhaps, led me to it.

In fact, my first idea of how I’d make my travels last was to train with Outward Bound as an outdoor education instructor in Costa Rica! Really, I was just shooting in the dark…..with the FAITH that something would happen to make my life-long dream of full-time travel work.

What I DO have that Fab pointed out, are enough complimentary skills to figure something out. I had the FAITH that I’d land on my feet with the skills I’d built up over 30 years, regardless of not having any idea how I’d do it.
If that dilutes my ability to act on faith, then so be it.

Is there a chance that we’re mixing up “faith” with “blind faith”?

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Laura May 16, 2012 at 12:37 pm

I think that if you do not consider every waking moment a step of faith you are not living in that moment. Every day you walk outside you should have faith that you will get through the day, not feel that because you made all of these plans that you are gauranteed to get from point a to point b alive. If you are realy in the moment you can use everything presented to you to your advantage (obviously as Nora has done).

Now a leap is something that is more than just a step. Day to day is a step. Life changing quit your job, leave your faimly, travel with a romantic partner (for me at least this one), is certainly a leap. She skipped all the little steps in between to do it. I do think what Nora did by deciding that she wanted to change her life was a leap.

The faith was that in what God (or insert whatever you beleive in) has given her the experience and will give oppertunities to do what she needs to do to make it work. Even if that faith was in only herself. Having confidence in yourself IS having faith in your self.

Also, I think in life we take little steps and sometimes big steps, some times leaps, and sometimes plummets. Sometimes they work and sometimes they do not. How big these “steps” are depend on our own perception. Everyone will think differently how big their leap is, but can never fully appreciate anyone elses because you will never have the same understanding of anyone elses self as that person.

Some people make leaps because they do not understand the risks or have no other choice. Some people see the more of risks, understand and still take that leap (like Nora). I think it is braver to jump in knowing the pit is full of snakes instead of jumping in and realizing their are snakes (is that analagy Indiana Jones enough?). Ignorance is not faith.

When people start thinking they need to make bigger and bigger leaps because they have done that before or that it was not a big leap is often when they are tripped by something that is right in front of their face, before they ever take off. Again, this is ignorance not faith.

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Fab May 16, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Hi Nora,

as far as:

“But according to your last comment, the only way I could EVER make a “true” leap of faith would be if I had no skills, I was stupid, I had no experience, I was untrainable, and broke.

Come on, folks! Seriously.”

My PS was just an extreme example to make you understand that

if you have had boring jobs, your mind would not have devoleped in such a creative way to make up a career as a professiona hobo!!

It’s a basic concept of cognitive psychology!!

( shop assistants aren’t so stupid, untrainable and broke!!!!
Come on, Nora!! Seriously. )

Apart from that, I already pointed out an effective example of people who really make leap of faith:

“People who make true leaps of faith are those people who risk all their assets ( financial, intellectual and emotional ) on ventures in which they believe in with all their hearts and if something goes very bad, they don’t have any good other option like yours, they must start from scratch again!!

You could say: Why do they risk so much?

Sometimes life puts people under strong pressure and there is only one option to pursue, otherwise you lose!! And in those cases, you must play it at any cost, whatever it takes!!”

A Final Note:

some months ago ( I had just discovered your interesting website ) I sent you an email in which I made you my sincere congratulations for your original and innovative lifestyle ( I also gave you a boost for a particular project ) and you answered that it was just the result of the fact that you have put passion in each day of your life!!

I liked very, very much your response because for what I’ve understood about you ( I don’t know you! ) this was the key factor that allowed you to make a living as a professional hobo!!

Again, not a leap of faith!!

But a personal feature that is far, far more important than any kind of strong or light leap of faith!!

“Man is only great when he acts from passion” by Benjamin Disraeli

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/b/benjamindi130014.html

All the best!

Fab

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T.W. Anderson @ Marginal Boundaries May 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm

All I know is that now I want to go skydiving in the nude =P

Pffft, think nothing of it….I love a good conversation with opposing points of view :) Takes a lot for me to be offended.

I think some of it might have to do with a difference in how faith is perceived on a personal level. I mentioned on Twitter that I’m not a religious person, so for me when I think of faith, I think of the “blind faith” practiced by the religious.

In one of your statements above you had said that stepping out of an airplane naked and without a parachute was the act of someone stupid, not the act of someone with faith. The problem is that, to the person doing the jumping, they aren’t stupid; they have faith that something miraculous is going to happen. To an outside viewer, what they are doing is stupid, but to them it’s all about conviction.

Respectfully (no disrespect intended to those who believe in God/Jesus/etc.), the same could be said about people who believe in a magical entity that we can neither see nor touch or hear or ever interact with. Believing in something that has no tangible evidence is viewed by most within the scientific community as being “stupid”, because there’s no evidence to support that belief. But it doesn’t matter to religious people because they have blind faith.

So I think that’s maybe where we had a difference…I was lumping all types of faith in with “blind faith”, while for you there is a difference between blind faith and normal faith. I totally get what you were saying now :)

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Baron's May 19, 2012 at 6:07 pm

You made a huge leap of faith…difference is…you were smart about it…so all these folks are just talking for the sake of talking….lol Cheers

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Fab May 24, 2012 at 2:14 am

Here is a crazy and exciting leap of faith:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/11/ian-usher_n_1418457.html

His website:

http://www.ianusher.com/

Enjoy the reading!

Fab

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D.J. - The World of Deej May 24, 2012 at 7:45 am

Totally agree…there is a big difference between a leap of faith that’s done smartly, and the other way around. The other is gambling, and that’s not my style. I have a feeling that our leap of faith is coming, and I know we will be approaching it the way you’ve shared…

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Fab August 17, 2012 at 8:26 am

Hi Nora,

leap of faith or not leap of faith??

It doesn’t matter because in the end, all the matter depends on which kind of entrepreneurial aptitude is dominant!!

If you feel like, take this test:

http://www.entrepreneur.com/blog/224141?cam=Dev&ctp=Carousel&cdt=31&cdn=224141

All the best!

Fab

Reply

Fab August 17, 2012 at 8:28 am

I bet your profile is “Smarts”!! Maybe also “Hearts”!!

Ciao!

Fab

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