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Monday, August 31, 2015

Dale Carnegie

Many of us are afraid to take a risk, to try something new.  We keep waiting for the right time.  Unfortunately, there is never going to be a right time.  When we stop risking, we start dying one day at a time.  The more safe we feel the less risk we take.  Security and safety are illusions of the mind.  We are never 100% safe.  I read a story about a woman who was driving on a country road and was killed by tree that fell and hit her car.  Just being alive is a risk. 

Taking a risk does not mean that you have to throw caution to the wind and risk everything.  Planned risk is best.  How much are you willing to sacrifice?  What are you willing to lose?  Be ready with a plan B if plan A fails.  Think ahead.  I have seen people quit their jobs without having a new job in hand.  They are putting themselves and others at serious risk.  A better alternative would be to job hunt while employed.  Take the leap but have a safety net.  High wire walkers without a safety net risk death.

One of the biggest risks that I took in my career was when I made the leap into marketing and sales without any prior training or experience.  The risk could have cost me my job and my marriage, but fortunately, I passed the test.

Every time I submit my writing to an editor I am taking a risk — I am facing rejection.  Writing this blog is a risk because people may not read it.  Showing my art in an art show is a risk because people may criticize.

Begin with small risks that won't cause too much pain.  You have to know what you are willing to lose.  Many years ago when I visited Las Vegas, I discovered how much money I was willing to risk — $5.00.  I played the nickel slot machines and was happy to sit there for 3 or 4 hours both winning and losing.  I tried my hand at poker once and lost $20 in ten minutes and I quit.  I was not willing to lose my hard earned money.

Now, some of you may be laughing.  I am not a gambler.  I know when to walk away.  I know when to fold the cards.  Yet, I have taken major risks in my thinking.  I have questioned and challenged everything I have been taught.  I don't need hand-me down answers to the eternal questions we all ask.

What kind of risk are you comfortable with?  What are you willing to sacrifice?  Do you have a safety net?  Or do you throw caution to the wind and hope for the best?    Is there a risk that you should be taking but are not?  Take the risk.