January 11th, 2011
Tip #11: Taking risks can be the difference between achieving our heart’s desire and living unfulfilled lives.
Do you know the story of Thomas Edison?
He was at a meeting when someone from a crowd yelled, “Mr. Edison, how does it feel to have failed over four hundred times at making the light bulb work?” Mr. Edison stopped, turned, and answered, “My dear sir, I have never failed at my attempts to make the light bulb work. I have successfully identified four hundred ways that it will not work.” Risk taking involves this type of fearless, optimistic thinking.
If we look around us carefully, we would realize that most of the luxuries and privileges we enjoy today are because someone else had the courage to take a risk, regardless of the obstacles, to achieve a desired outcome.
When I came to Canada, I was terrified of driving here because we drive on the left side of the road in St.Lucia and in Canada, we drive on the right. I was scared of getting in an accident. After three years, I summoned the courage to drive but even then, I was still terrified of getting on the highway. One evening after work, I went out for a drink with a friend and she got drunk. She had to drive me home. Before I knew it, she gave me the key and said “You drive tonight!” The only way we could get home, was by going on the highway. That evening, I held my breath, with my heart pounding; I drove the car on the highway. That experience took the fear away. We got home safely and since then, I actually enjoy driving on the highway!
Risk taking is at the heart of all creative endeavors, is responsible for worldly innovations and has helped people achieved success. I can think of countless people whom I know who have inspired me by taking risks to achieve their goals and passions. It varies from:
- friends who have left well-paid jobs to finding more fulfilling work despite the loss of income
- friends who have become polititians because they believed that they could make a difference to their country despite the possibility of losing an election and having their lives publicly exposed
- single moms who put themselves to school despite the fact that they experience severe loss of income or lack of time with their children
- business owners who have lost everything because they believed in pursuing their business interest
- families moving to another country in search of a better life and leaving loved ones behind
- women and men who have left relationships because they were dying on the inside despite years of history together
Most of us don’t take risks because we feel the need to be safe all the time. We are afraid to experience something new – simply because we don’t know what the outcome will be. What if we turned it the other way and asked ourselves “What do we want the outcomes of our lives to be?”
Risk taking does not have to be something huge. We can also take calculated risks by looking at the pros and cons. Simply stepping out of our comfort zone to trying something new – from talking to a stranger on the street, to trying on a new colour, to opening your new business to starting a fund raiser or running for the position of prime minister. Our degree of comfort is very personal.
What is the body-mind connection for taking risks?
- It increases our confidence, our motivation level and makes us realize that we can achieve our desires
- It increases our sense of control about our lives and makes us realize that we are responsible
- It reduces our feelings of victimization and helplessness
- It decreases our anxieties and fears
- It helps us establish a sense of both limitations and possibilities
“Risk-taking is inherently failure-prone. Otherwise, it would be called sure-thing-taking.”
LookGood!!!! and FeelGood!!!! by taking small and big risks…