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When was the last time you took a risk?
What ultimately led to you taking the risk?
I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big risk taker. In fact, my natural inclination away from risk seems to grow more and more as I age.
I was listening to a podcast the other day, and someone said “The biggest risk is not taking a risk.”
Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Being risky doesn’t have to mean doing something stupid, but it does mean getting outside your comfort zone. It could mean taking a calculated risk. According to dictionary.com, a calculated risk is:
This type of risk requires discipline. If we don’t learn to take calculated risks from time to time we will live a life of regret and wonderment. We’ll be left to wonder what could have been.
Three years ago, I was imprisoned by a fear of failure and a fear of the unknown. I missed out on many opportunities because I lacked the courage and faith to step into the unknown. This is about the time my friend, Adam Flora, asked me to join him on a missions trip to Guatemala. It would have been much easier to simply say “no” than to go through the anxiety of saying yes and worrying about the potential outcomes.
Fortunately, I decided to take the risk. I calculated the chance of failure, and I made the leap of faith to go along on the adventure of a lifetime. This trip changed my perspective on short-term missions, on Guatemala, and on the importance discipline of taking risks.
John Maxwell relates a story shared by sociologist Anthony Campolo. Campolo tells about a group of 50 people over the age of 90 years old who were asked one question: If you could live your life over again, what would you do differently?
The question was open-ended and the people’s answers were varied. However, three ideas consistently emerged.
1. If I had it to do over again, I would reflect more.
2. If I had it to do over again, I would risk more.
3. If I had it to do over again, I would do more things that would live on after I am dead.
Number two on this list was all about risk. As I watch my daughter preparing for college, I am reminded how quickly life moves forward. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to end up like the people in Tony Campolo’s survey. When I get to the end of my life, I want to know for certain I lived my life to the fullest. While it may stretch me, I want to practice the discipline of taking risks.
How about you?