Taking Risks

The greatest risk is the risk not taken. Or, to put it another way, often the greatest risk is to take no risk at all. To play it safe and take no risks translates into dull, boring and a life not well lived, not fully experienced.

Imagine never taking your first step, your first class, or your first job interview. Imagine never riding on a roller coaster, or even doing something as everyday as learning how to drive a car. There are risks to driving a car, accidents do happen. Just listen to the traffic reports during morning commute hours. And yet, it’s a daily undertaking for most people. Risks feel scary. Ask any parent who has sat in the passenger seat while their teenage child takes control of the wheel.

When we take risks we expand our experiences. I know what it feels like to sit in the comfort of my home and read an book about travel to Europe, but how does it FEEL to actually take the necessary steps to board a plane and fly half-way across the world? What does it mean to land in a foreign country where people have a different culture, different food and may speak a different language? It’s a risk, but it’s also an experience rich with possibilities.

Or the risk of falling in love. Now that’s a grand and glorious risk. It can contain the highest highs and the lowest lows. What else in our emotional experience presents as many opportunities for risk, success or failure.

I have come to believe that there are no bad experiences and conversely, there are no good experiences. Experiences just are. It’s our perception of them that judges them to be bad or good.

I’m sure you could come up with a number of examples where the risk you took, and the experience you had, was not at all what you expected.  What may have seemed bad at the time, may have become oh so good when viewed through the lens of time. Time lets us look back and enjoy.

Enjoy now, enjoy always.