Risk: Don't Play It So Safe

Vera was in her eighties when I first met her. She suffered a stroke that left her mostly wheelchair bound. My wife was her physical therapist who worked with her in her stroke rehab. There was something special about this lady, and she really took an interest in my wife and ultimately our family.

Her husband was a loving, caring, wise, gentle soul. They essentially adopted us into their tribe. They loved to take us to dinner and their favorite place to go was Luby’s. They had great home-cooked food (buffet-style), and we always enjoyed the food and the company.

I learned a lot from just watching them interact. I watched as he would patiently push her through the line and help her with her tray. I watched as he helped her in and out of the car. I saw the twinkle in their eyes when they spoke kindly of one another. They were constantly bragging on the other. Their faith was important to them and they really lived it. The love they had for each other and for their family and friends was self-evident.

It was at one of these many dinners that I asked Vera what she would do differently if she could relive her life. She did not hesitate and with an intensity you could not only see but feel, she said,

“Take more risk in life. Don’t play it so safe.”

Those words have stuck in my head. Many times I have wanted to take the safe road and did. But there were times when I did take a risk, a chance. Vera’s advice has always encouraged me. I have not always experienced the success I wanted, but I have yet to regret taking a chance. Even in my failures, I have learned something about myself or the process of getting better.

What is keeping you back? Keeping you from taking a risk? Most often for me, it is definitely fear of failure, fear of looking stupid, of being found out. Fear.

Fear will dictate your boundaries and can be a good thing. But it can be paralyzing. Fear of failure keeps many from even trying.

I am not suggesting that you take every chance that comes your way, but do take some chances, take some risks. Do not always play it safe. Remember what someone whom has lived nine decades of life would tell you. Take a chance!

Enjoy your journey to an amazing life.