Are you a risk-taker? Or does the thought of having to choose one of these doors give you an anxiety attack?
The subject of risk taking has been on my mind lately. This of course comes in many shapes and sizes. For some people, changing their flavor of toothpaste constitutes a big risk. Even if you think you are the most risk-averse person in the world, however, you are still a risk-taker.
I once took a class in college on risk. That is the only thing we studied for the whole semester. Who would have thought there could be so much material about such a small word. But it was one of my favorite classes, and it has stuck with me. For example, did you know that if a company were to write a manual to warn you of all the risks for something simple, like cooking an egg, the book would never end. It would look something like this:
- Ensure all objects are picked up off the kitchen floor before beginning the process of cooking your egg. Tripping over toys, dogs, etc., makes it easy to fall into a hot pan. This will hurt.
- If you use oil to cook your egg, do not add water. This could also potentially hurt.
- When extracting egg shell from the pan (this will be unavoidable, you will be extracting egg shell), do not use your bare hand if the pan is hot.
- If you have a gas stove, keep all dish cloths, napkins, and other flammable objects a safe distance from the flames
- Be aware of your surroundings. You want to be prepared at all times, just in case your spouse/significant other decides to hide under the kitchen table, then springs out and yells “Surprise!” at an inconvenient time (they always have the worst timing), causing you to jump and knock the handle of the pan. The pan will fall off the stove and land on your bare foot. This will cause pain. Way more pain than the before mentioned, spitting oil/water combo. But slightly less painful as falling into the pan after tripping over your dog. Which reminds me, always wear closed-toe shoes while cooking an egg.
I could go on, but you get the point. There is risk in living.
Do any of these sound like you?
- You drive a car
- You eat bananas
- You know people who eat bananas
- You chose to have kids
- You cooked dinner last night
- You proposed marriage to your significant other
- You have flown in an airplane
- You have gambled
- You have cooked an egg
But there are other types of risks…risks we avoid because we are afraid of rejection. Are there things you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t? You might think things like,
“What if I’m bad at it?”
“Will it be hard?”
“Will others think I’m nuts?”
Maybe you have gotten stuck in the trap that says, “When such and such happens, then I will have time.” (Hint: This trap will never release you. It will NEVER let you think you have the time) Or maybe you believe the saying that ‘old dogs can’t learn new tricks.’
Did you know that rejection is ok? Did you know it’s ok to be bad at things? It’s easy to tell our kids, family, or friends this when they are faced with a big decision. But are we following our own advice?
It’s never too late to take risks and follow your passion. Colonel Sanders was nearly 60 when he started KFC. If you think it’s too late to write that book, learn to play the piano, take art lessons, or anything else you are wanting to do…it’s not.
There is risk in living. But there is also potential for immense joy. Joy comes through pushing ourselves and our abilities. Through pursuing our interests, we can also develop friendships and relationships that can last a lifetime.
I challenge you to write down 100 things you want to do before you die. I made a journal like this in college. Actually, I don’t think I ever made it to 100, and some of my goals have changed. But having this list means I will never be bored, and I will never be stagnant. Some of my goals are as simple as certain books I want to read. Others are bigger like learning to scuba dive or writing a novel.
So tell me, What is something you have always wanted to do, but haven’t yet? Why haven’t you done it? I’d love to see everyone’s goals in the comments section! (and for each person who shares a goal, I’ll share one of mine off my list!)