“Chance all; see what destiny yields.” – Angolan proverb
We all love a ‘take-it-easy-drive-down-the-road-pace’ lifestyle. We love it when we are in cruise-control. It is more predictive and it heightens our sense of security. But the reality is after a while in cruise-control, you get into a groove that lessens your effectiveness and shrinks your efficiency. Life becomes monotonous, and you crave for something different to happen. And until that something different happens, most of us are simply afraid to risk initiating that change we aspire for. We are so afraid, that the risk word itself scarce us. And it should because it has been drummed into our heads and hearts from childhood, that risk is an activity we should shy away from. We were made to visualize it as something scary and dangerous. A surprising number of us were not only taught, but threatened that life is safer to play is safe.
Well, the change evolution has debunked that myth. There is nothing like playing it safe anymore. All the ‘safeness’ has made life riskier now. And what seemed risky now seems safe. We do not know and cannot tell with certainty what the next moment has in store for us. In this evolution, nothing is absolutely guaranteed, except God and change. Everything about life and living has an element of risk associated with it. From sleeping to waking up, walking to talking, and every other activity; we are always exposed to varying degrees of risk. Even reading this piece is risky, because it could influence your worldview and thus shape your attitude positively. And I hope it does. It does not matter how well you plan or strategize. It does not matter the precautionary measures you take; the element of risk is always present. This fact should inspire us to take a lot more risk, instead of our souls shivering at the thought of risk.
Why should risk stop you in your tracks? Please understand that taking a risk is not as risky as we have been made to believe. It is simply crawling out of your shell. Taking risk is simply trying out new things or even doing the things you do differently. It is about focusing your energies on something new, something different from what you have always been doing. Have you ever tried changing your sleeping position? Initially it feels uncomfortable, but after a few tries, you get used to it and can sleep soundly. That should have inspired you to try other things differently.
And when you try new things, you test the skills you have learned in school and in life. It strengthens your confidence and focuses your energies on possibilities. This gives you momentum to go on and on until you accomplish whatever goals and objectives you set for yourself. Every risk you take unearths some innovativeness in you. You strengthen some abilities and then discard worn-out skills and capabilities. Every time you take a risk, you prevent complacency in your attitude. Simply put, taking risk is how you can get the best out of yourself and the situation.
Risk is a productive endeavour that acts as the barrier that separates the great from the average. Individuals and groups become great, not by avoiding risk but by actively seeking it out and exploiting it to their own advantage. Average individuals focus on the wrong side of risk, they concentrate of what will happen if things turn out negative and this prevents them from taking any action. On the other hand, great individuals focus on the positive and the good that come from taking an action and this inspires them to take the risk.
Playing it safe is dangerous. And neither history, nor life has ever rewarded any being for playing it safe. All the great men of women of this world had taken risks. It is the best strategic tool to use to counter change with. You are not being asked to break rules, what you are being asked to do is to try new things. Trying new things will build upon your experience and positively affect your attitude.
Every time you take an action, you take a risk. Taking action; goes hand in hand with risk. That is why your understanding of what constitutes risk, is so important. And every risk you take unlocks a part of your potential, which takes you a step closer to achieving your purpose on earth. But you must be able and willing to come out of your shell in exchange for a life of glory and fame. You must do it for an opportunity to soar with the eagles and catch a glimpse of the beauty of the earth.
Kodwo Brumpon is a management consultant and a life coach who inspires individuals, groups and corporate bodies to think and feel that which is true, and helps them to positively respond to that which is beautiful is, whilst nudging them to let goodness govern their actions. Comments, suggestions and requests should be sent to him at firstname.lastname@example.org