“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask ‘What if I fall?’
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”
– Erin Hanson
Have you ever been in a situation in which you felt stuck and sensed some unfairness, be it a lifestyle routine or a job position? For instance, when one finds themselves in a work environment in which they feel undervalued and quite disrespected, yet remain dubious about deciding whether or not to quit abruptly in hope of landing somewhere healthier. Did the option of escaping it seem harder to achieve and less bearable than the thought of trying to get over it, to get used to it?
Having gone through that exact position several times myself, I have always perceived the latter as a faint-hearted decision. However, it has not been without difficulty that I have able to come to that conclusion. Learning to take risks is not an easily achievable task. It takes time, effort, and practice. It does thus require a certain dose of fearlessness, and in certain cases a well-developed intuition.
Risk is a gamble that can occur in varied areas of life, from the tiniest, most random to the greatest, most meaningful life event. It is taking a chance, regardless of the status quo. It is taking the leap, regardless of the likelihood of instability and insecurity. It is fighting against any plausible regret and having faith in unpredictability.
Oftentimes, if the cards are played right, the outcome will result in the shape of a reward. For, indeed, even nowadays in our ever-changing society, the strength to stand up for your rights and dignity is not as common as it may sound. This is why it is so common to stumble across the countless and similar stories of people in their forties going through existential crises for having settled in a life where their hearts were never really in.
“So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?”
— Hunter S. Thompson
Furthermore, taking risks does not necessarily mean diving into the complete unknown. For, having a back-up plan according to the situation may be moral-boosting support, if not a crucial safety net to hold on to.
It is only by pushing our boundaries that we get to live new experiences, that we grasp who we truly are within, that we learn and that we grow. Staying in our comfort zones in edgy circumstances is, in fact, the trap we oftentimes fall into. Of course, there will be failures on the road, times when we got overexcited, and end up in unforeseen affairs. Yet, failure entails a twice more important lesson than a risk that ends in soundness.
Being able to believe in uncertainty means also being ready to accept new challenges, defy the odds, and shoot for the magical and surprising wonders that life holds. Believing is emboldening. Believing is receiving, one way or the other.
Personally, I’d rather choose the path less traveled.
what’s the greatest risk you’ve dared taking?