What is Worth the Risk?
Monday August 1, 2011

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“All cowardice comes from not truly loving, or at least, not loving well.”Ernest Hemingway’s character in the film Midnight in Paris

UPDATED 11/26/21: Upon watching the film Midnight in Paris in 2011, the above quote was spoken by the character playing Ernest Hemingway. As I have been currently wrestling with a few ways I can take risks in my own life, it was after receiving an email from a long-time TSLL reader this week sharing her daring to take a risk she would have never thought possible, but upon doing thoroughly glad she made the decision to do so that my own courage took a deep breath and acknowledged it was time to be brave.

As to the hand-written quote seen in the pic, I wrote this message to myself during the first year I began living in Bend, Oregon (2015), and I have held onto the thought ever since. If my life is any evidence in anyway that this quote holds truth, and I dare say it is, I encourage you to consider honoring your ‘fairy tale’. It does want to come true. Now find the courage to let it come forth. 

I share this post from the archives with the words I wrote in 2011, but their sentiments still ring true today, and I continue to step bravely forward. 

Original Post below:

At one point in the film when Owen Wilson’s twenty-first century character is taken back to Paris of the 1920’s, he has a conversation with Ernest Hemingway, and Hemingway is quoted stating today’s point of inspiration shared above. Needless to say, I pondered this quote (and its source) the rest of the evening. What does it mean? Is there truth to be found? yada yada yada. (My mind, as my family and friends can attest to, never shuts off.)

After much contemplation, I began to examine my own life and assess those instances when I took risks. Substantial risks, or at least at the time, a risk that felt very substantial based on my circumstances. And I have to say, based on my own experiences, the decisions I have made that were risky and in hindsight cause the question, what was I thinking? to echo like a chorus, were also the decisions that reflected what I was passionate about, unabashedly so, and unapologetically so.

As each of us grows older, we may find that we are less willing to take risks, to put all that we have worked so hard for on the line.  Think about it for a moment.  Most people become more protective as they advance in life of their assets, relationships and other vital aspects of their lives because they are better able to be grateful for the fortunate they have, appreciate the time and effort that went into creating what they now have, etc.

The opposite can be very telling as well. If after a handful of decades on this planet, one is willing to take a leap, a risk that will alter all that they have worked for, there are two reasons that allow this to happen: one, they are not happy with how their lives have unfolded in some or all its details; or two, what they want now is something they are even more passionate about which can be very exhilarating.

True passion, whether it be for a person or a dream you hold for yourself, is something that you will cast aside fear to attain if you truly, truly love it.

While Hemingway (and Woody Allen for that matter most certainly) have their naysayers and disqualifiers, they pose an intriguing question that holds quite a bit of truth. Today’s quote is something to think about.

What or who do you love? What is most important to you? Others’ opinions, or achieving your dreams? What you pursue in life, how you live your life, reveals so much about your inner strength or lack thereof.

However, the good news for everybody is that this inner strength that sometimes seems so elusive, is within reach for all of us. How, you may ask? First, get to know yourself, then discover what you are passionate about and then, figure out a way to incorporate it into your life. You can do it. You can cast aside your fears if you want it badly enough. Hold fast to your courage and bravely step forward. I am. 

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5 thoughts on “What is Worth the Risk?

  1. Hi Shannon; yet another lovely and thought provoking post from you to start the week. Although my Monday is almost over {i’m in Australia}, i’ll definitely be thinking about this post for the rest of the week. I love that you’ve added links to some of your older posts as a way to kick start the process of finding our inner strength and the things that are most important to us.

    Have a lovely week 🙂

    xo, Stephanie

  2. I’m soooo glad you plugged that wonderful movie, Shannon, as I’ve gone to see it twice and plan a third viewing as soon as I can manage it. I found it wonderfully thought-provoking on MANY levels, including the idea of living too much in the past (which I have a tendency to do!). I really, really LOVED the fashions, the attitudes, the lessons in Midnight in Paris and strongly urge all Francophiles (and bibliophiles) to run, not walk, to the theaters to see it NOW!

  3. I was actually take this close to bit further and say that all cowardice comes from not really loving yourself/ oneself. if you love yourself truly, almost anything isssible.

  4. Hi Shannon,

    thank you from the bottom of my heart for your always brainy, sophisticated and grounded in reality “empower-mental”-myself-easyly(sometimes easier, sometimes harder)-RIGHT-NOW-AND-BRAINY posts.

    The way you do it is deeply life-fundamentally without being stuff like “positivismism”.

    If not connected to sense AND brain positive thinking can lead to negative consequenses because you give away your life to others instead of leading it by yourself. And your self is the one who will be mostly astonished about without knowing why, because you have been sooo “positive”.

    Your posts always point out clearly what is holding us back and only from this point of view a change is possible. You offer the opportunity to find out oneselve´s blindness or notknowing why “life isn´t as beautiful as I dreamed it once”, finding out the truth about our abilities and beauty and what our fear is like and how to overcome our fear to shine when we like to shine.

    Best wishes to you and all your readers
    from Amina (no blog)
    (hopefully I could express what I wanted to express, have to brighten my English!)

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