I was re-reading and reflecting on some of the notes I took from the Women In Travel Summit back in April and found a few lessons I thought were worth sharing. One of the discussions was about risk. The speaker, Jessica, offered a list of lessons she's learned about risk and a few jumped out that I wanted to expand on. I believe risk is a key part of living a meaningful life. Most people are too scared to risk much in life, but I believe on the other side of that fear is where life is really lived. And even if you never find the reward after taking the risk, there's always something to be learned along the way. I really enjoyed Jessica's take on risk so here are a few takeaways along with my thoughts on the concepts:
-Live on the other side of "what if": What if I fail? What if no one likes me? What if I embarrass myself? What if don't enjoy it? Sound familiar? Well. . what if you succeed? What if everyone loves you? What if you nail it and make yourself proud? What if you love it? And if not. . . SO WHAT? You can live your life saying what if and never get anywhere, or you can take a leap of faith and find out for sure. Even if your "what if" comes true, is it really that bad? The best lessons I've ever learned where when my what if's came true and I believe I am a better person for that.
-Commit to the hard parts: Life isn't meant to be easy, it's meant to be lived. Maybe it's a cheesy, overplayed quote but that is because it's true. Don't bail when s*** gets hard. Some favorite people of mine, The Minimalists, use the quote, "drudge through the drudgery" which I think sums it up quite well. You have to get through the tedious and through the hard. Easy is earned, so suck it up, commit, and you will see the rewards on the other side. And in hiking terms - sometimes that climb up sucks, a lot, but that view sure is worth it, isn't it??
-Get comfortable being uncomfortable: Comfort zones are boring and they certainly don't get you very far in life. I certainly don't want to get to my death bed and say, eh, at least I never felt uncomfortable. No. I want to get there and remember all of the amazing experiences and be proud of the life I lived. Discomfort means growth so take a risk and learn how to love the uncomfortable.
-You'll figure it out: This pretty much sums up my life motto. Anyone who knows me well enough, is used to this comment. Do you know what you're doing with this new business? Eh, I'll figure it out. Do you know how to run a marathon/climb a mountain/do some other physical feat you clearly are not in shape enough to do? Nah, but I'll figure it out. Detailed itinerary for vacation? Nope, we'll figure it out. OK, maybe a bit off track, but seriously, take a risk and figure it out as you go. You don't need to know everything to get started, you just need to take one first step. Too many of us spend so much time trying to get all of the facts and info we think we need that we never actually get around to starting anything.
So what is it? What is that thing that's been nagging at you, that has always seemed to risky and too far outside your comfort zone? Decide what it is and go for it - or, as my favorite band says, "Decide what to be and go be it."
That time in Rocky Mountain National Park that I was real glad I didn't bail when s*** got hard because I would have missed this.