I once heard a speaker say, "It's not death we have to fear; it's not living." What a powerful statement. I don't know how many times I've had someone say, "I could never do that," about something I was doing. I'm not talking about skydiving or hang-gliding. I'm talking about living.
Life is full of risk. Each one of us takes numerous risks everyday. I recently heard a statistic that was bizarre, but it illustrates how many risks surround us everyday that we aren't even aware of. The statistic was that you are less likely to be bitten by a shark in the ocean than by a human in New York City. The numbers were 69% more likely. Now, that is bizarre, but how many people walking around New York City are paralyzed by the fear that Larry the bitter is about to zone in on them? Probably zero.
When I was younger, I didn't think about risks, but I also didn't think about accomplishments. As I've gotten older, my vision of what I want my life to be has evolved and developed into something much bigger than my younger days. Some of that evolution involves risk, but without it, there is no growth or success. My biggest fear is arriving at the end of life realizing that I didn't live my life.
I don't want to always take the safe route, the easy way, the simple path. I want to challenge myself to grow and to experience more than I have. I want to know that I have squeezed every drop out of my life that I could. I come from a very risk averse family. When I left a great job at age 21 for a completely unknown future, my family went into full spastic mode. I was supposed to get the great job, work there 40 years and collect the gold watch and retire. That guaranteed life doesn't happen anymore.
Fortunately, I saw that writing on the wall many years ago and I took a risk. I've been self-employed most of my adult life, and I wouldn't have it any other way. It can be scary, but so can riding the New York City subway if Larry the bitter is on it. Life is full of opportunity if you are willing to wade into it. I challenge you to not fear living, but embrace it.