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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Walter Inglis Anderson

"Our lives improve only when we take chances . . . and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves."

American Artist, Writer
1903 - 1965

Life is about taking chances.  Risk is a key part of success.  And, I think, most creative leaders understand this.  The very nature of creativity is risk taking.  In order to create something new, we have to break down old patterns and rebuild in a different way.  But if we are being honest with ourselves, we must admit that we do not take risks in every area of our lives.  I for one will not risk my financial stability and security.  I am an intellectual risk taker.  I will explore new ideas and new ways of thinking.  I will question my beliefs and those of others, but I am not an entrepreneur.  I will not gamble the financial security of my family and myself.   I will take risks with my writing and my art, but I won't risk my relationships with my family and friends.

Where do you draw the line?  What are you not willing to risk?  I am not willing to risk my money.  If I gamble at a casino, I am only willing to lose five dollars.  I work too hard for my money to throw it way. 

Anderson is right.  The most difficult risk is being honest with ourselves, admitting our failures and our weaknesses.  What are your blind spots?  What are you not willing to admit to yourself or to others?  What do you want to keep hidden from the world?  It takes courage to be honest with yourself.  To face your fears and failures and honestly assess your weaknesses.