Money back guaranteed
Don’t you wish all your choices in life came with a money back guarantee?
“Sir, if you are not 100% satisfied with that 20 year degree you’re planning on pursuing…we will give you your money back.”
But the truth is, anything worth doing will involve risk. When we step out of our comfort zone, there are no guarantees. I take that back, there is one guarantee…growth.
Recently, I was talking to my son about choices. I told him how there had been pivotal times in my own life as a young girl when fear held me back from trying new things. I now look back at those past decisions, knowing what I know now, and wish I hadn’t let fear dictate my actions.
A couple of weeks ago, I told my son about a week-long young writer’s camp. Since he loves to write and tell stories, I thought it would be something he might enjoy doing. He was excited and wanted to go. We arrived the first day and waited on the sidewalk for the building to open. Kids from ages 8-15 years of age began showing up. The writing instructor opened the doors and cheerfully greeted us.
From the moment she opened her mouth, I could just tell she genuinely loved her job. She radiated enthusiasm. Oh, how I wish I could have been 8 years old again and heading into that camp! She instructed us all to head upstairs to sign in. As we climbed the two flights of stairs, I could tell my son was nervous. He didn’t know anyone. As we stood in line, his lip began to quiver and he whispered to me, “this isn’t what I expected, I want to leave.”
“Honey, are you sure?” I asked him. ” You might really enjoy this.”
He shook his head and continued to hold back the tears. We left the line and headed back down the stairs. The writing instructor was still standing by the entrance greeting all the other campers. I stopped and told her that my son had changed his mind.
Again, the instructor’s enthusiasm and joy seemed to brighten up the whole sidewalk. “Oh, no!” she said. “Please come,Sean, we have so much fun!”
She looked at me and said. “What if he just tries it today? If he doesn’t like it and doesn’t want to continue the rest of the week I will give you your money back.”
I take my son off to the side and talk to him again. He is still reluctant. I tell him that this is a beautiful offer. And then I reminded him of that talk we had recently about choices.
“Honey,” I said, “Remember how I told you there are going to be times as an adult when you look back and think… boy, I wish I had tried that. This is one of those times.”
To make a long story short, he did choose to go in that day. He loved it and he stayed all week. At the end of the week, families were invited to an evening program where one by one each camper took his turn up on the stage. Under a spotlight, while holding a microphone they shared something they had written that week.
Sean was a little nervous on the drive to the event. He was afraid he would make a mistake. I assured him that it would be okay if he did make a mistake because everyone makes mistakes. I told him that even the President makes mistakes when he is delivering speeches. As we climbed out of the car and walked to the event my son said this:
“Mom, you know what I was thinking?”
“What?” I said.
“I was thinking that one thing that would be even more embarrassing than getting up there on stage in front of everyone and making a mistake would be not getting up there at all.”