All choices have risks associated with them. You may recognize the risk associated with one choice over another because of the focus society gives it. This is the case with the risk of flying in a plane versus driving. In 2015, there were 32,166 fatal car crashes that lead to over 35,000 deaths. In comparison, there were 27 plane accidents that resulted in zero deaths in 2015.
There are two takeaways you want to have from this example. First, there is no such thing as a risk-free choice. Every day you wake up is a blessing because every time you close your eyes, you risk them not opening. However, since you must sleep, you don’t think about much. At a minimum, every choice has an opportunity cost and that cost is a risk you are taking. Second, what society portrays as reality is not always a fair representation of reality. You will live your life believing the world is normally one way, when you in reality it is the complete opposite.
Keep in mind the main goal of television programming is to make money through ads. This requires them to broadcast shows that encourage feelings of inadequacy so you feel the need to purchase what is advertised.
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Everything from your profession, to your faith, to the relationships in your life; they all start with your willingness to take on risk. The day you went from nonbeliever to believer put all of your previous relationships at risk of ending. You are going to gain friends through your new lifestyle, but that doesn’t erase the fact some of your past relationships are in jeopardy.
To be loved is to open yourself up to the possibility of having your heart broken. You could avoid the risk of heartbreak by never allowing yourself to fall in love, but then you are risking the opportunity to be loved. There is a balance in life and for you to receive the benefits of chasing happiness, you have to accept the risks you will face along your journey.
The joy needs to outweigh the risk
I remember hearing this story of an elderly man who was stumbling as he was trying to walk across the street. A young boy noticed the man and stopped to help him. He walked the elderly man across the street and they sat down at the bench together. The younger person asked the elderly man if he was okay and he said he was. Then the boy told him he should consider getting a wheel chair since his legs were not reliable enough for him to walk without the risk of falling. The old man smiled and told the boy, my joy of walking outweighs the risk of falling.
When you think about the goals you have set for yourself this year, you need to be able to have that same resolve as the elderly man. You must recognize the true reason you want to change your life.
1. Research your dream life
Ideally, you want to limit the amount of uncertainty in your goal so you can limit the amount of risk you are exposing yourself to. I encourage you to find interviews and case studies from people who are living the life you desire. They don’t have to be completely where you want to be, nor do they have to do it exactly the same way you would like. The goal is for you to have a framework that you can adjust to fit your personality, lifestyle, and timeline.
2. Frame the situation
It is not a conversation between “risk” and “no-risk” , it is a conversation between “risk” and “risk”. By allowing yourself to recognize that you are going to face a risk either way, you can increase the likelihood of you taking action. This exercise is simple, but effective. It ensures you are comparing apples to apples, which in this case is comparing worst-case scenario to worst-case scenario.
You have the risk of failing in every situation. You can either fail chasing happiness or you can fail settling for a life you are not passionate about living.
3. Action is where the magic happens
Two things are going to happen when you take action. There is the small chance that everything is going to work out perfectly. As I say, it is going to rain rainbows and skittles. It is like you hit the lottery in life and things are clicking on all cylinders. Did I mention there is a small chance of this happening? Just checking, because it is more likely you are going to run into some challenges. This is not a problem for my fellow achojah warriors who will rise to the challenge.
The challenge you face in this situation is the fact that you do not have enough information in the beginning to plot the perfect course. The information you need to plot the perfect course is gathered as you take action. You may be tempted to study and prepare until the cows come home, but nothing will replace the knowledge you will gain through trial and error.
4. Be patient
When you learned to ride your bike, did you fall the first few times? Yea, me too. Did you eventually learn how to ride your bike? Yea, me too. The key to your success was the fact that you did not give up. You have to have that same resolve when you are working on changing your life. You should not expect to succeed right out the gate, nor should you quit as a result.
Patience in the process is needed in the early goings. That is why is important for you to do your research. When you find a proven process to accomplish the changes you want to make in your life, you only need to remind yourself that you are on the right path.
You should allow yourself at least 10 opportunities to fail without judgement. From each failure, you will glean a little more information on how to succeed. Just like riding your bike. No matter how many books you read or videos you watched, it was not until you got on the bike that you realized all that went into riding one.
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Tyler Perry’s lesson on patience
By the age of 22, Tyler Perry tried to commit suicide twice. Once as a teen and once at the age of 22. At the age of 23, Tyler decided to move to Atlanta and invest his life savings into his first play. That play did not draw a crowd as only 30 guests attended. It fanfare was so bad that the theater cancelled all future showing and the play was gone in a week. Tyler ended up working odd jobs to continue funding his dream. It was not until 6 years later that he realized the recipe to success. He hired several local performers who had a following and their following attended the performance as a result.
From that moment, Tyler took his show on the road and he was selling out theaters throughout America. What we considered an overnight success was actually a decade in the making. So when we found Tyler Perry on the big screen, he was already molded through his earlier experiences in performance.
Your brain is very good at reminding you of the risks associated with failure. It is like one of those, “the light flashed before your eyes” moments. As soon as you are about to take a risk, your brain will flash all the bad things that can happen if things go sideways. You want to make sure you are taking action that is aligned with the drum beat of happiness inside of you. Be willing to take the risk of chasing happiness. It may expose you to the possibility of finding sadness, but without risking sadness, you cannot obtain happiness..
Until next time,
Dre ‘Living the achojah life‘ Griggs