Friday, December 19, 2008

Look, nobody died!

A long time ago I heard a quote, "Nothing ventured gained." That was the first insight I remember regarding risk taking.

Another quote that came later was "Behold the turtle, he makes progress only when he sticks his neck out."

These thoughts helped me become a risk taker, but I find as a teacher and nurturer that others are not so easily persuaded. So I've found two supplemental insights that often turn reluctant risk-takers into habitual risk-takers.

The first supplemental quote is "Look. Nobody died!"

The second is similar, "Look, the Universe as we know it didn't end!"

The reluctant and timid often overestimate the impact of their mistakes. They almost think that someone will die if they goof up. And by their logic, if carried to its natural conclusion,life on Earth as we know it might cease!

But we aren't really that important.

So, take the reasonable risk. Probably no one will notice or care. (Regardless of the outcome.) No one will die. The Universe will continue. Give yourself permission to stick your neck out!

(I shared some of these thoughts with my wife, and her contrary response was, "Well, no one has died YET!)


  1. I agree entirely with your musings today. All too often we don't do things for fear of sticking our neck out. Some of these are silly little things - perhaps making a fool of yourself in public or just writing a comment on a blog. Instead of thinking "This is what I want to do" we think "What will so-and-so think about that?" Perhaps being able to stick your neck out is something that gets easier with age.

  2. Well stated! In fact, I just had to use some similar phrases while I was teaching my friend to ski. Isn't it fun to encourage the people we care about and even ourselves to take reasonable risks?? :)

    P.S. Great pics! :)