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Of course, I knew that conventional wisdom would not have led me to completely overhaul my life when I was 38 to carry pajamas and books around the streets of New York. Of course, I knew a plan might make sense. But I had a new, heartfelt obsession that turned into a mission, so without a plan I JUMPED IN and splashed around until I learned how to float and finally, swim!

Now, you may be a leaper too, or you may look first, seek out advice, make a plan with some counsel, and put one foot in front of the other on the way to your goal. I envy you if you are a looker. Lookers have patience and calculate their chances of succeeding. They weigh things, as many things as possible, and try to strike at the optimum time per their research. This is not a criticism, it's jealousy. Leapers like me don't feel like we have the time - or should I say, we don't take the time - to take everything into consideration before we say, I'M DOING THIS! We always think about things "later." When we're about to hit a wall, we think to ourselves, "OK, I didn't think about this, now what?" Both lookers and leapers can succeed. If you're starting something new, and if your heart is leading you, you will need a plan, no matter who you are or how you roll. Lookers make a plan, today. And they surround themselves with people who can help. Leapers make a plan tomorrow, or two months from now. And too often we go it alone. Both lookers and leapers feel scared, vulnerable, and alone at times. After all, when we take something on, we take 100% responsibility for it. Failure, for either a looker or a leaper, is the most frightening possibility for us.

I learned just how nerve-wracking it is to be a leaper many times, but in the early days of Pajama Program, I came face to face with a big JUMP that thankfully I didn't make alone. There's a big key to success for a leaper - jump with friends!

I am not a particularly well-connected person. I am not a genius, nor am I a math whiz. What I am, crazy or not, is that person who has a lot of trust in the “jump in the water and splash around until you are swimming” philosophy. So any doubts about a suggestion to "throw a gala fundraiser" weren’t going to stop our little Pajama committee from trying to throw the world’s best luncheon with some profit after expenses. We made invitations and mailed them with a kiss and a prayer. (I kissed them, literally.) I lost sleep counting the days until I thought the invitations would arrive to those on our mailing list. I took a quick breath and then held it again waiting for responses. I pictured an empty room the day of our event and could actually feel how sick and embarrassed I'd be at that sight, how I'd slither away, mortified. A failure to the children I'd made promises to.

We sold 67 tickets. That was 66 more people than I thought would attend. In my mind we were OK - past the "I'm a failure" stage and close enough to calling our event a success. The children on our list would get their pajamas and storybooks. Smarter people will look before they leap. Not me. I’m a leaper. And I was beginning to feel fearless! And I finally made a plan.

Are you a looker or a leaper? I'd love to hear your story! Email me anytime at

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