Saturday, May 11, 2013

Living the Risk-free Life

Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing. --Benjamin Franklin.

I absolutely love this quote.  As a mantra for daily living, it involves everything that I think is essential to successful living. It requires determining your purpose and focus.  It involves taking a risk and moving head-on into the challenges of life.  It also involves sharing what is learned and serving others through my favorite media, writing. While I've always had a basic belief in living life to the fullest, I can't truthfully say that taking risks has always been a part of that.

When I was a little girl, my favorite fairy tale was Goldilocks and The Three Bears. You remember the story don't you? She sits in one chair and it is too big and she sits in another chair and it is too small. She finally sits in a third chair and it is JUST RIGHT! I can't tell you how strongly I identify with this little girl who is trying to get everything in her life 'just right'. Much of my life's goal has been to fly below the radar and take the comfortable risk-free path.  While the idea that following a certain path would take me to my destination without any mistakes is quite appealing, I frequently have to remind myself how unrealistic that is. After all, even Goldilocks had to try out a few options before she got it just right!

Recognizing that living a purposeful, intentional life involves making mistakes and taking risks is important because it gives us permission to try different options and to be okay with possible failure. An unwillingness to fail can result in an unwillingness to try and ultimately an unwillingness to move beyond the status-quo. Doing something worth writing about by necessity involves taking a chance and risking failure.  The lesson for myself and Goldilocks is that being concerned with getting everything just right is really...just wrong.

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  1. "Recognizing that living a purposeful, intentional life involves making mistakes and taking risks . . . ."
    It's what God is all about, what we are all about . . .
    May we all rise to the occasion . . .
    Love and blessings, Lynne!

  2. This is so true, Lynne. We tend to be so concerned about everything being perfect and just right when often it is the practice of doing that makes it more perfect and especially helps us as Seth Godin says, "ship". Great post and great quote.

  3. Thanks Martha and Kathy for the comments. The difficulty for me is discerning when things are "good enough" but not perfect. It is an ongoing issue...sigh:)

  4. Absolutely and this has always been a challenge for me - I've had to overcome early conditioning that mistakes are bad. I've learned that not much in life is "perfect" and that's ok! My friend Caroline said instead of looking at it as making mistakes - consider that you are experimenting. Any "failure" is just something else to consider as you experiment. I love that. Great post Lynne.

  5. Ann, I've had to learn and adjust my attitude about mistakes as well!! I like the experimenting example! Thanks for the comment.