Leap Year Lesson #108: Take a Risk and Enjoy the Ride

Posted: April 17, 2012 in Risk

When was the last time you took a real risk?  Not the “I’m going to try a different salad dressing” kind, but something on the order of “This could seriously hurt me…or worse.”

We tend to grow more risk averse as we age, and with good reason.  We don’t have the same physical capabilities or devil-may-care attitude as we did when younger.  Maybe we don’t get as many thrills from testing the boundaries as in earlier, more rebellious days.

What would you do that many would consider risky?  Would you go skydiving?  Bungee jumping?  Would you take off on a long journey somewhere in the world with little money and few provisions?  Would you quit your secure job to pursue a dream that brings with it no security at all?  What is the wild and crazy thing you’d put on your bucket list that others perhaps don’t know about?

This subject comes to mind today because of how I felt when wrapping up tasks and leaving work in anticipation of my China trip Thursday.  There is a certain rush from the uncertainty of flying into the (for me) unknown on the other side of the globe.  But as I consider other bucket list possibilities, this trip doesn’t rise anywhere near the level of dangerous, life-threatening or potentially career-ending things that people risk every day.  Yes, the plane could go down in the Pacific, but the same deadly outcome could happen any day of the world driving my car down the road.

I guess it’s a matter of scale.  For example, going to China is riskier than going to Green Bay, but less risky than flying to the moon.  Starting your dream business on the side while you still work another job to pay the bills is riskier than not starting the business, but not as risky as quitting your current income sources completely to pursue the dream.

Risks can be exciting.  They can be deadly.  You have to find your own comfort level on the scale.  I believe, though, that the excitement, learning and benefits gained frequently outweigh the potential negatives.  So leap year lesson #108 is Take a risk and enjoy the ride.

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