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It was George Bernard Shaw who says, “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” So many people wish for a better life, a better career, a better marriage, a better this, and a better that, but they aren't doing anything about it. Unfortunately, life doesn't answer to wishes, life responds to pursuits, because "If wishes were horses, even beggars would ride."
What risk will you take, if you know you will not fail?
At his commencement speech at Stanford University, Steve Job says, "Remembering I will be dead soon is the most important tool have I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices of life, because, almost everything, all external expectation, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death." He went on to say, your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.
We cannot approach the subject of risk by only focusing on the inevitability of death; rather, it's far wiser to consider how we should live and what acceptable risks are worth giving a shot as we journey through life.
We can't be careless with life, but also, we can't be too overcautious. As Teddy Roosevelt once said, "Far better is it to dare mighty things than to than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much."
In his book, Take The Risk, Dr. Ben Carson came up with four questions or formula to consider when attempting any risk:
1. What is the best thing that can happen if i do this?
2. What is the worst thing that can happen if i do this?
3. What is the best thing that can happen if i don't do it?
4. What is the worst thing that can happen if i don't do it?
Using Dr. Carson's model will help you think through decisions and break down complexities through critical and analytical thinking.
Life itself is risky, and the biggest risk is not taking one. So many people are operating way below their God-given potentials because they would rather die in their comfort zone than take some bold step of faith. Les Brown was right when he says, “Most people raise a family, earn a living, and then they die." What a way to live.
I find it counter-intuitive as to why people would rather choose to sit back, go with the flow, trapped by dogma, but never stretch themselves to see what more is possible for their life. If you avoid risk because you aren't certain or sure of the outcome, how then will you know what's possible without an attempt?
Don't go through life holding back. Take a calculated risk. As illustrated by Paul Hudson, he outlined 14 risks we all should take in life:
1. Risk taking the road less traveled
2. Risk getting turned down
3. Risk not getting the job
4. Risk failing: if you don't risk failing you can't succeed
5. Risk putting it all on the line
6. Risk missing out in order to achieve something greater
7. Risk that person not saying “i love you too."
8. Risk making a mistake
9. Risk losing friendships.
10. Risk not being good enough
11. Risk launching too early
12. Risk putting yourself out there and being judged
13. Risk admitting that you don’t know
14. Risk opening up and being vulnerable
You need to be willing to sacrifice your comfort and security temporarily, to see more of what life has in stock for you. Your next amazing experience is on the other side of your next risk attempt. Don't go through life with your handbrake on.