“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go” – T. S. Eliot
Recently, I took a what I consider to be a “big risk”. Now, at the time I was deciding whether or not to go through with it, I tried to convince myself that it was not a risk in the true sense of the meaning of the word. But who was I kidding? My heart was racing as I made decisions in furtherance of the risk. I kept telling myself that it was more a case of “Weell… if it does not go the way I planned, then so be it.” but deep down, I knew this was a risk; the elements of risk-taking were present. That being said, I eventually took the risk and it paid off in a big way.
Just so that this does not sound like a fairytale where every risk taken pays off, I must add that before I eventually took the risk (which involved some money by the way…and no I did not sell anyone to make more money), I made some calculated efforts to do some research on what I was about to try out. I researched for about a week or two, doubted the whole thing at least 5 times, actually started out then turned around and gave up saying to myself how “crazy” it was. I went back and fourth a couple of times until I said to myself “Well here goes nothing.”
I think that in life you should have at least one major “well here goes nothing” where you are fully aware that you’re about to take a risk which could either change things up for the better or end up not so great. Because well, how would you even know the result if you do not try? The point where you’re at the gate of your comfort zone and can see the thick, rough and unclear path before you and you look back and see a tidy, well kept seemingly-has-everything-you-have-ever-wanted zone, and say to yourself “well here goes nothing” and actually step out of that comfort zone.
The seemingly impossible
It actually always seems impossible until it done right? I bet humans said it would be impossible to get human beings on the moon until it was done. I bet people had said it would be impossible for America to have a black president until it was done. I bet loads of people would have agreed that it would definitely be impossible to put a car in space until it was done.
It always seems impossible until it is eventually done. So what is that thing, dream or goal that you desire earnestly to achieve that seems impossible; that people have said is unrealistic. Are you willing to take a risk in the direction of that dream or goal?
I am in awe of this picture, which by the way is real (in case you were already doubting). I bet if I had told you verbally that two men would be able to pull this off, you would have definitely laughed it off. Well…it has been done.
Yes, you can stare at te picture for long enough. I did that too. Kept on coming back to it to figure out how it was done, if there’s any “film trick” involved or if na juju.
“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
And yes, there would always be people who are so scare of your dreams and goals that they project that fear onto you and want you to turn around and remain in your comfort zone. ((You know, I’ve been thinking of the importance of telling people (the right people) your dreams and goals. On the one hand, it can be useful for accountability purposes, much needed encouragement and when you need to build a team of people who buy into your idea. On the other hand, it’s like you might tell someone (who may seem to be the right someone) a dream or plan and they get wide-eyed, call you crazy, tell you to calm down or give you “realistic” reasons why it may most likely not work out.))
Whatever you decide to do, just remember that as long as you take a risk, there is a chance of winning and a chance of losing as well. But, you will never know if it is a win or loss unless you take the shot.
The Discomforting Comfort Zone
“If you want something you’ve never had, then you’ve got to do something you’ve never done.”
It is often said that life begins at the end of your comfort zone and that everything you want is on the other side of fear. I know much about this comfort zone which we speak about for in different aspects of life, I had built a huge castle in the comfort zone and was happy being the queen of the zone. Stepping out terrified me so much that I convinced myself into believing that there was no need to step out, after all I had everything I thought I wanted there and like we say “the devil you know is better than the angel you don’t.”
But in recent times, I have stepped out of my comfort zone in life and for the times I did, I loved it. It did not always pay off, but there was a rush of excitement I felt within that expanded my mind into seeing how seemingly impossible things could become possible.
You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can’t get there by bus, only by hardwork and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself. – Alan Alda
It is pretty normal to be afraid to step out of the comfort zone. In fact, I read somewhere that how you know you’re about to step out of your comfort zone is when you have that scary knot-in-your-stomach type feeling, mixed with an awkward and uncomfortable feel. Just remember that all winners (Barrack Obama, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Nelson Mandela and a bunch of them) were at one time filled with doubt too.
“Often the difference between a successful man and a failure is not one’s better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on his idea, to take a calculated risk, and to act.“– Maxwell Maltz
Life is a risk
I figure that all of life is a risk. In taking what someone else may consider as a “small risk”, my mind was opened up to understanding the “little” risks of life; the risk of growing up (not that you have a choice in that aspect anyway), the risk of stepping outside your house to go to work, the risk of falling in love and getting married, of travelling around the world, of having kids…it’s like you never know how these things would turn out if you do not risk it.
I guess what I am trying to say from my little experience is take a chance. Take a risk. You just never know. There may be a million reasons why it may go wrong but one why it may go right and that one might just be worth it.