Why Not . . . Take a Risk?
Wednesday November 9, 2011

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“Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.”

– Dalai Lama

It’s tempting in this world of uncertainty to play it safe and live within the lines.  And while in certain aspects of life this is a prudent decision, i.e. paying the bills on time, obeying traffic laws and being kind and courteous, in other areas of life, if we want to get ahead, discover our true potential and become aware of what the world has to offer, we must take a leap every once and a while.

For instance, in matters of the heart, with each failed attempt, it is easy to become cynical, distrusting and guarded. I can honestly say that with each fall or failed attempt, thick skin began to gradually grow, but while this is defendable, it also is limiting to what is still possible.  And if, whether it is in love, building our very own business or anything else that captures our interest, we choose not to try or to be available to what could possibly be, we risk even more.  After all, there is only one life to live, why live it scared and quailed in fear? No joy can be gained from such a stance.  Yes, there will be skinned knees and maybe some broken limbs, but oh what we gain, what we feel and what possibilities we provoke to occur simply by being willing to try.

It is a leap, this forced willingness to want something better, to see what we’re really made of that awakens us and adds amazing color to a life that can quite easily be mundane if lived without thought and examination.  Let me share some of the benefits I’ve discovered as I’ve embraced sensible risk-taking as a necessary ingredient of a simply luxurious life.

1. Surprise Yourself

What makes something risky is that you aren’t certain as to how things will work out. When you choose to take a risk, be aware of the consequences if it doesn’t work out, but refuse to hold back when you decide to move forward so that you are completely open to all the possible outcomes.  The beautiful reward is when the risk you have cautiously, but bravely taken pans out and sometimes in such a way that is better than you have ever imagined.

2. Strengthen Your Resolve

When it doesn’t work out, you’ve at least eliminated the fear.  Now you know how it will work out when you attempt it in a particular way which allows you the opportunity to tweak, adjust and try again, moving forward with more wisdom. Choose to allow these experiences to build your resolve as you gradually eliminate the unknowns that pique your curiosity.


3. Gain Experience

With each attempt, experience is gained.  No effort is ever a waste as it adds to your knowledge base which helps you to make better decision down the road.


4. Build Intuition

Intuition is the sixth sense that all of us have the ability to cultivate.  It is something that requires each of us to analyze and be observant of people and events around.  So with each risk taken, take into account upon reflection your feelings – when they changed, how they changed and teach yourself to evolve and take even more auspicious risks in the future.

5. Discover Unknown Passions

The most rewarding  benefit of taking risks is that we discover what tickles our fancy, ignites our spirits and helps us navigate toward a fulfilling life.  While having very rigid plans and expectations for life is advisable in many respects in order to attain success, it is also wise to allow for wiggle room, so when opportunities present themselves you can jump to seize them.

Overall, as we build our intuition, become more in tune with our true capabilities and become aware that we are more pliable than we realize, we allow for our lives to become fuller and more rewarding.  After all, if Julia Child wouldn’t have continued to explore and attempt new hobbies well into her forties, we wouldn’t know her as the world renowned French chef that she is, and if Oprah wouldn’t have chosen to back herself as she took her show national so she could have complete control of the show’s content, she may never have reached her impressive heights.

Sometimes all we need is a nudge toward believing in what we may have begun to believe was impossible.  Trust me, it’s possible and it can be beyond your expectations, but first we must take the first blind step.

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