I have a lot of respect for athletes. Especially the ones who put in crazy hours running, lifting weights and perfecting their skills in hopes that someday, they will be best. The thing that is so respectable to me about athletes is their schedule. They spend day after day working and disciplining their bodies and minds without fail until they reach their goal. I think that we can learn a lot about life from these athletes because deep down, everyone wants to live a life of meaning. The whole point of sports is to overcome mediocrity and become the best.
We all want to accomplish something great. No one wants to be mediocre.
I have always wanted to be a writer. Writing a book at some point in my life is one of my ‘bucket list’ goals. Unfortunately, I have a crippling fear of putting my personal thoughts and beliefs out for everyone to see. It petrifies me. Aside from trying to add value to people and encourage them, the main reason that I write this blog is to overcome my fear of what others think about me.
It will probably take me about two minutes to actually press the ‘publish’ button to send out this blog, and every time I do, it make me a little queasy. But, it is my first step. I know I have to overcome this fear in order to someday become an author. It may not be a big deal for you, but for me, its a big step and a big risk.
Now, I have to believe that deep down, you have some incredible dreams and goals of your own. And in order to reach those goals and make them attainable, you will have to take some necessary risks. Unfortunately, risks can become the things that cripple us.
Risk: The potential of losing something of value.
What do people do when they become fearful of risk? They conform and blend. They float in the still waters of mediocrity where nothing ever changes for better or worse. And all of a sudden, they find themselves in the doldrums of life.
What if the generations before us avoided risk as much as we do? I have a feeling that many of the things we are proud of as humanity would not have come to be. Wheels, lights, airplanes, automobiles, computers and so on. These all took risk. Trial and error.
We see their results, but tend to forget their struggle.
The things worth living and dying for, the things that will change the world, the things that make a difference, those are the things that cannot be accomplished easily or in a day. If that were the case, don’t you think someone would have already done it?
The only thing that fills the gap between where you are and where you want to be is work.
Ancient Egyptian pyramids took anywhere from 15-30 years to complete. 10,000 workers. Sleds. Rope. Huge rocks. And guess what, they are still standing today. Some of the things that you want to accomplish may take the majority of your life to complete. Most of us have problems waiting 30 minutes for something. Let alone 30 days. 30 months. 30 years.
For some people, risk is a repellant, while for others it’s an invitation.
There are two types of risk. Wise and foolish. The wise risk is calculated and observed, as to where the foolish is aimless and irresponsible. If you are uncomfortable with risk, start small and move your way up.
John Maxwell has a great baseball analogy about risk. He illustrates the story of stealing from first base to second base. He says that if you want to accomplish the goal of stealing the base, you must first leave the security of first base and enter a period of risk until you reach second. Many people simply just wait for longer legs. They wait for a period in their life when they can have one leg on first and the other on second, but we all know that this is impossible. He ends by saying this, “Risk nothing, receive nothing and you will have nothing.”
Risk is a necessary evil for success.
Take Christopher Columbus for example. Thanks to this man, who traversed across the ocean, into uncharted territory, risking his life in order to find a ‘new world’, we have America. In his day, people thought the world was flat and that he was crazy. It was a risk he was willing to take.
Stick your neck out there and become a pioneer. Don’t be afraid to fail, even in this culture that will judge you and ridicule your ventures, press on.
I think we have lost our ability to give our lives for a great cause.
Many people would rather live a mediocre life with minimal distractions and few risks. If that is what you desire, then look no further because the advice is simple: Do what is easy. But for those of us who want to do something extraordinary with our lives, there is a greater call to action, and risk is involved.
Christine Caine said this: “Life is too short to avoid risk. Not only that, but the purpose of life is not to arrive at death safely, instead, life is to be lived and being alive means taking risks.”
There are so many opportunities out there.
What are your dreams and goals?
Have you avoided pursuing those dreams because of a fear of risk?