Ed Tori, 30 April 2015
Have you ever asked yourself why we do something a certain way? Most likely your answer will be, “Because that’s the way we’ve always done it.” Or maybe, “Because my parents always did it this way.” Perhaps you’ve said, “ If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.”
There are a myriad of excuses why we’re seemingly satisfied with the so-called status quo. But they’re just that: excuses. It takes a truly innovative person to go against the flow and create a new way, a better way, of doing things.
Take Dick Fosbury, for instance. If you don’t participate in or at least follow track, specifically high jumping, chances are you’ve never heard of him. An Olympic gold medal winner in the 1968 Summer Olympics, American Athlete Dick Fosbury excelled because he chose to find a different way, a better way to clear the bar.
While others were using the tried and true techniques of high jumping, Fosbury developed his own way of going over the bar, and as it turned out, his way took him straight to the top. Some people criticized him, saying it was backward the way he jumped the bar. And they were right. It was backward. The approach was different and the landing was different. As Fosbury soared over the bar, clearing it better than anyone else that year, he ‘flopped’ backwards onto the mat. The world took notice.
Is there something you are itching to try, but are afraid it will “flop?” Are you nervous about venturing into unmarked territory? Are you simply content to let things be?
There is greatness in every one of us. It’s just waiting to be released. And it can only emerge when we’re willing to take off the shackles of status quo and step into the freedom of innovation and discovery.
What lies within you that is worthy of having your name attached to it? Around the world in track meets and Olympic events, Dick Fosbury is remembered by a simple change in his approach to high jumping. It’s now called the Fosbury Flop and it proves to each and every one of us that greatness is just a hop, skip and a jump away.
Images taken from the public domain
Other Links of Interest:
- 13 Most Revolutionary Moments in Sports – Fosbury is Number 6
- Funky Business – Fosbury flop cited in an interview about business innovation.
- Why the Flop Works – more than you want to know about the mechanics and physics behind it