Blogs | What are you willing to risk?

By Briana | December 17th 2012

What are you willing to risk?

I’m writing to you from a plane flying high above the Rocky Mountains on my way from Boulder to Portland. The view is breath taking and I kinda can’t believe how lucky I feel to live in a time where we get to board a mostly hollow piece of metal and fly around the world. I’m also feeling really grateful that I get to live my life in two of my favorite places – Boulder and Portland.

When I first told my friends and family that we were going to move to Boulder and continue to have our businesses in Portland, I got some funny looks and well intended advice to not do it! But did I listen? Of course not! You know why?

Because I had already weighed the risk and decided that the risk was worth the reward.

Now this would not be true for many people – the risk may feel too big. Additionally, any risk at all is fervently avoided by countless individuals.

I’m not here to convince you to become a throw-your-cares-to-the-wind risk taker. Instead I want to explore the idea of what risk is, so that you can perhaps stretch yourself a little and really reach for your goals.

My grandfather always said “don’t risk more than you are willing to lose.”

So what are you unwilling to lose? Seriously, make a list.

Once you’re clear about what you won’t budge on, you’re left with everything you are willing to have or not have. There are things I would never risk: my friends and family, and my health, but everything else, I am willing to lose – because I know that I would still be happy.

When you realize that happiness is something that you manufacture, not something that you find, massive freedom to extend beyond your comfort zone is created.

When my husband, Peter, was a young boy he got a ten dollar bill for finding the afikomen at Passover. Big deal. He was excited. Then his uncle came to him and said “Peter, I’ll trade you the bill that I have in my hand for your ten dollar bill.” Peter thought for a moment and said “no thank you.” The bill that his uncle had in his hand was a hundred.

My point with this story is not necessarily that Peter should’ve blindly traded with his uncle (though truly the chance that his uncle was going to rip off his young nephew was probably fairly low.) My point is that I’ve heard this story numerous times, because it’s a risk he wished he’d taken.

Growing up with a mama that’s a Hospice nurse, I’ve heard from a young age that the thing that people regret at the end of life usually isn’t what they did do, it’s what they didn’t do.

I’m not willing to risk getting to the end of my precious days here and feeling like I totally went for it. Are you?

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