Guest Post by Dear Husband:
I've always fancied myself as a risk-taker. You know, the type of guy who would go skydiving or eXtreme river rafting; or even ride a bull. Yeah, that's right. I'm a care-free kind of guy who gets his kicks by taking risks. Nobody can stop me. Heck, while I'm at it I think I'll quit my job without another one lined up.
Who am I kidding? I have always wanted to do the aforementioned risk-taking activities and many more. I have even spent time planning out the things I would do, but for whatever reason I have never followed through. And now I realize I'm a fraud!
The closest thing I did to riding a bull was chasing a poor calf around a rodeo arena as a kid, trying to grab the ribbon off its tail. Now that calf was a risk-taker. Can you imagine the adrenaline he must have felt while close to a hundred kids hyped up on funnel cake and caramel corn in cowboy boots chased him around the arena?
The Real Deal
I respect those who take risks. I'm not only talking about physical risks, but also life-changing risks; the type of change that requires months and sometimes years of planning; the type that comes with a chance for failure and perhaps a possibility of great success. I've been thinking about all of this lately due to the recent decision a friend and her husband have made.
Shane Wyatt is a local Country Singer/Songwriter who grew up in Oklahoma only a couple of hours East from where I did in North Texas. In August 2009, Shane made a move that many only fantasize about doing. He quit his day job as Vice President of Development and Support to become a full-time musician. After a couple of years of songwriting, promoting his album The Last Cowboy and touring, he's taking the ultimate risk and chance of a lifetime. He's moving to Nashville, TN; Music City USA.
I can only imagine the amount of time, planning, patience, persistence and money it took to pursue this goal. This commitment took him a step closer towards realizing a dream he had been envisioning since he was a kid playing the fiddle back in Oklahoma. Of course, without the complete support from his wife I'm sure he would still be "pushing the paper" at his day job.
Which leads me to another important factor of risk-taking; a single person has more freedom to take risks. On the other hand, a person who is married or has a child or two must be a bit more cautious when it comes to taking risks; carefully weighing the outcomes and variables. And most importantly, the risk-taker must have the go-ahead and encouragement from his or her partner and kid(s) before taking the plunge.
Getting it Done
After a bit of careful self reflection, I've determined that I rarely let a situation go far enough to be considered a risk. Why is that? There are many reasons: lack of focus and drive; lost interest; too scared; the wife says no (bull riding, for example) and many more. But after I read the below list I also realized that I shouldn't always be so reluctant to take a few risks.
Tips for Effective Risk-Taking
Don't risk everything. You should only risk something that, in the event it doesn't go your way, won't ruin you financially, emotionally or physically.
Ask for what you want. More often than not, you will get it.
Avoid unhealthy risks. The risks you take should be positive. They should not put you, or others, at risk of physical or emotional harm.
Learn from failures. Inevitably, some of your risks won't pan out. Turn these failures into a positive by figuring out where you went wrong, then applying what you learned to your next risk.
Start right away. The more risks you take, the easier it will become. Remember, it doesn't need to be a huge risk to make a meaningful impact on your life. Some small risks to get you started include trying a new type of food, wearing a different style of clothing, changing your hairstyle or taking a weekend trip to someplace you've never been before.
Don't worry about what others think. Remember, this is your life, your desire, your risk. Keep moving ahead with what you want, even if those around you have different views.
If there's nothing to lose, take the risk. Oftentimes a risk may seem scary, but when you really examine it you'll find you have nothing to lose. If this is the case, always take the risk.
Of course, there are many times a risk is just not worth it. Shari Peace, president of Peace Talks, a professional speaking firm, says there are signs that tell you when a risk is NOT a good idea:
There's a good chance you could lose everything.
You have to put a lot on the line to get only a little.
There are too many factors you can't control.
You feel the odds are against you.
There is no way to fix the outcome if it doesn't turn out how you want.
You have to take the risk before having a chance to prepare and/or evaluate it.
Within the last week I've been thrust into a risk-taking situation. Although not by choice, it has the potential for a very positive outcome. So, I'll be considering these steps while I plot the best route for me and my family. And I'll be using this list when a new opportunity with some risk rears its head. The trick will be to follow through by staying focused and interested, not being scared to risk a little in order to gain something.
Are you a risk taker? What steps do you take when planning to take a risk? Please go check out Shane Wyatt.
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