Take More Risks

I’ll make you this promise: on your deathbed, in the twilight of your life, it will not be all the risks you took that you will regret the most. Rather, what will fill your heart with the greatest amount of regret and sadness will be all those risks that you did not take, all those opportunities you did not seize and all those fears you did not face. Remember that on the other side of fear lies freedom. And stay focused on the timeless success principle that says: “life is nothing more that a game of numbers – the more risks you take, the more rewards you will receive.” Or in the words of Sophocles, “Fortune is not on the side of the faint – hearted.”
     To live your life to the fullest, start taking more risks and doing the things you fear. Get good at being uncomfortable and stop walking the path of least resistance. Sure, there is a greater chance you will stub your toes when you walk the road less traveled, but that is the only way you can get anywhere. As my wise mother always says, “you cannot get to third base with one foot on second.” Or as Andre Gide observed, “One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.”
     The real secret to a life of abundance is to stop spending your days searching for security and start spending your time pursuing opportunity. Sure, you will meet with your share of failures if you start living more deliberately and passionately. But failure is nothing more than learning how to win. Or as my dad observed one day, “Robin, it’s risky out on a limb. But that’s where all the fruit is.”
     As I wrote in an earlier lesson, life is all about choices. Deeply fulfilled and highly actualized people simply make wiser choices than others. You can choose to spend the rest of your days sitting on the shore of life in complete safety or you can take some chances, dive deep into the water and discover the pearls that lie waiting for the person of true courage. To keep me inspired and centered on the fact that I must keep stretching my own personal boundaries as the days go by, I have posted the following words of Theodore Roosevelt in the study where I write:
     It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows in the end the triumphs of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.





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