Significance Over Safety

Dr. Dan Diamond is a medical doctor from the local community here in Kitsap County, WA.  He’s the first person I’ve had the opportunity to interact with that has done a TED talk.  Naturally, I was intrigued, as I love TED talks and listen to them often.  Dr. Dan practices medicine locally.  In fact he happened to be on duty last year when I had to go to Urgent Care for stitches on my knee following a local Spartan Race.  I’ve had to go to urgent care before for a few different reasons, usually related to kids being sick or injured, and every single time have had been a terrible experience.  Rude staff, long wait times, doctors that don’t seem to really care about the client or the client experience.  This trip was different.  I was fuming in the waiting room.  I waited for 7 hours to get 4 stitches in my knee, and cost $1,200!  Unreal.  But, Dr. Dan came in and completely changed my mood.  Great attitude, sense of humor, and seemed to get where I was coming from.  Made the experience different than any other.  I tell you that story to relate what I got from his TED talk and how I saw it in action.

In this talk Dr. Dan highlights a trip to New Orleans when he helped during the Hurricane Katrina disaster.  He highlights a character he met, Oggie (not sure how it’s spelled but going with this), that sacrificed comfort and safety for helping others and making a difference when he himself had very little.  What struck me the most was almost a throw away line near the end of the talk.  Dr. Dan spoke of living a life of “significance over safety”.  It took me until my mid-30’s to realize that the one of the biggest things that separates a guy like me from someone that has made is significant impact in this world, in their business, or in their family is that those people took massive action.  They stepped outside their “safety zone” and did something.  They realized they, with their actions, could make an impact.  I always thought I was too insignificant.  A bit player.  I’m only now realizing what I wished I had realized years ago.  I have the power to make an impact.  And what that impact is varies from person to person and where they wish to make an impact.  Dr. Dan, from rural Kitsap County, makes an impact locally every day and internationally when he donates his time and energy helping those in need by choosing to care about people that have medical needs and taking action.  Oggie makes an impact by choosing to care and doing something about it.  The Rock makes an impact, often literally, by working his tail off and taking chances (checking his Instagram feed, he may be the hardest working man I’ve ever seen).  The local car insurance guy in my town has made an impact by following a business plan and executing and has become the top agent in his company.  I’m realizing more and more that the key to success and to making an impact is by taking action.  Stepping away from the comfortable routine we’ve set up for ourselves, both in our personal lives and businesses, and taking action.  The chasm between those that just do what they’re told and those that take risks and take action is massive.  Most people don’t take action that is outside of their zone of comfort.

It starts with minor actions and will gradually become larger and larger.  Start taking action today.  If you need to budget for your house, do it.  If you need to start being more present at home, do it.  If you want to get more active politically, do it.  If you want to grow your business, make a plan and do it.  If you’ve got a heart for the disabled, start volunteering.  Look for areas in which you truly feel you can provide value and be “the guy/gal”, get it done and take action.

Dr. Dan’s TED talk:


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