Ideas and stories from my growth journey. Warning: If you are interested in a casual, comfortable life, this blog will be counterproductive for you.

The Icarus Story Is Backwards

The story of Icarus is one of the most famous Greek myths. He was imprisoned with his father, a great inventor who made a king angry. His father used feathers and wax to create wings. They escaped out a window overlooking the ocean. Icarus ignored his father’s warnings to stay low. As he neared the sun, the heat melted the wax, dismantling his wings, and Icarus fell to his death.

This story is really famous and really tragic. It’s also really bad advice.

Icarus statue

The story was written by people who had never flown. The skies were strange and terrifying—they were unknown. So they warned their children to not be too audacious. And if by some chance you do fly, they warned, then don’t fly too far from the ground.

But, the truth is that the higher Icarus flew, the colder it would have gotten and the more firm his wax bindings would have become. He would have actually been much safer flying high than his timid father, who flew low over the ocean where it was warm and moist.

Generation after generation, the story gets told. Like you, I’ve been told again and again: fly low and play it safe.

But I say we should be just like Icarus. We should fly as high as we can. We should soar to places no one has ever gone before.  It’s not as risky as we’ve been told. Flying high doesn’t mean flying recklessly (see my previous post on this). As my former boss, the founder of Chick-fil-A, Truett Cathy, said, “No goal is too high if we climb with care and confidence.” Tweet This So I say to set high goals.

As you think about what you will attempt this year, don’t let fear keep you grounded. Reach further and become better than you every have before.

Scott WozniakThe Icarus Story Is Backwards
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