One of the things I’ve learned to embrace in life is the art of taking risks. Now, when I say “risks” I’m not talking about betting your savings account on a horse race or going skydiving. I’m talking about doing things that most people would consider to be out of the ordinary. I’m talking about putting yourself in an uncomfortable position in order to create massive change in your life. Why? Here are 3 reasons:
1. If you want an extraordinary life, you have to take more risks.
As I started my career as an author and speaker, I was soon struck by the realization that if I did not start doing something different, something out of the ordinary, something that most people wouldn’t perceive as normal…then I would just be leading an average life.Here’s the thing: if you’re doing what everyone else is doing, you’re living a life with very little risk. But if you want to create something great, be someone great, achieve spiritual greatness, financial greatness, parenting greatness, or marital greatness—whatever it is—you will not find it by doing what everyone else is doing…because not everyone is achieving great results.
2. Risks bring about change.
Obviously, becoming great in an area of your life is going to involve change…which is usually a scary prospect. Here is where you need to flip the script in your mind.Change is scary. But it’s also an opportunity for so many great things! Think about it…every great thing that’s happened to you happened because something changed. I’m not saying all change is good. But I am saying that nothing great happens without change. Here’s a quick example: When I started discussing the concept for the book, How Do You Kill 11 Million People? with my team and my publisher, we all were a little uneasy about breaking off in such a different direction from my previous books. It was a change…and perceived as a big risk. But we took it. And it became the only book I’ve ever written that hit the New York Times bestseller list the first week of its release. It’s opened me up to some new avenues and opportunities. It’s given me a platform to speak about things I couldn’t really speak about before. Change can be great.
3. More risks…fewer regrets.
There was a recent article in The Guardian titled “Top Five Regrets of the Dying,” (you can read it here). A nurse who has spent a good deal of time working with dying patients recorded the reasons. Here is the #1 regret she recorded:“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”Wow. Read that second part again, “not the life others expected of me.” That statement identifies the biggest hurdle to overcome when taking risks and doing things differently—denying what others expect of you.The nurse went on to say, “Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.” Did you get that? Choices they had NOT made. Risks they did NOT take. Change they were unwilling to face… You will never know if you could have done something if you don’t take a risk. Don’t live a life of regret…or worse…one of regrets.