Life Without Risks Isn’t Living

Credit: Michael Shannon // Unsplash

I’ve always had big dreams for my life.  I envision myself to be a person of influence and leadership no matter what career choice I end up in.  To travel across the world and speak on platforms and stages that would reach countless spheres, effecting a tangible positive change in the community. I also know that I’ve been blessed with the gift of communication and leadershipthat enables me to step into my dream.  Pair that with having the support of a few close friends and it seems like I’m well on my way to realising my future.  Right?

Not quite… 

See, the problem I’ve constantly faced in my life is the fear of taking risks.  I have always lived life as a risk-averse person, reluctant and hesitant to engage with any kind of chance.  I’m the guy that will stick with the same favourite dish rather than daring to embark on the perilous journey of trying something new.  “What if it’s underwhelming?” my mind would tell myself.  But over the course of joining Accelus, I have learnt that the nature of life simply requiresyou to take some bold steps in order to do anything significant, even if it means not knowing what lies ahead.  While journeying with Phebe and the team, I’ve discovered that my life has been unknowingly crippled by a fear of risk and failure and ‘what ifs’. It has opened my eyes to the fact that even starting an organisation like Accelus is a risk, just like anything worthwhile in life. 

But what if the whole point of life isto take risks?  

What if we took calculated leaps of faith and threw the self-imposed limitations away to force ourselves to grow.  To surrender our insatiable inclination for comfort and familiarity in order to accomplish something that exceeds your greatest expectations.  It is a courageous paradigm shift; that life only finds true meaning when you decide to give up what you already know. 

When I decided to switch my Uni degree from Economics to Human Resources, I knew I was following my heart.  It might sound trivial, but that decision held a tonne of weight in my life. I was scared that switching would place me in a situation that left me with more regret than happiness.  But now looking back and fully enjoying HR, I am grateful I had enough courage to follow my inner voice rather than be contained by my situation.

For if there’s something I’ve learnt, it is that everything in life is a risk.  Embarking on the biggest, scariest change of direction in life is a huge gamble.  There is a possibility that the drastic career switch, or complete turnaround inscenerywill never pay off like how you imagined it to be. Maybe starting your business idea, switching into that new university degree or committing to that organisation may not match the expectations you have. 

But consider this — that perhaps, playing it safereally presents the greatest risk of all. The danger of sitting back and letting ‘someone else’ start that enterprise you know you were meant to do. Ruling out your inner desire to do something you’ve always imagined doing because it was ‘too far out’ of your projected career path.  Or waiting so long for the ‘right moment’ that the whole window of opportunity passes you by… truly, I have learnt that sitting back and saying maybe will only confine me further to the ground.  Playing it safe will merely keep me in the same spot.  And that even if I risk everything, try my best and still fail, that will always be a bigger achievement than never trying at all. 

For what would my life be if I never took any risks? 

If I never put myself out there and missed meeting future key connections and mentors?

If I never challenged my fears and limitations?

If I never discovered my true capacity and mission?
If I never explored how far life itself could truly take me?  

At least I gave it a shot, and I have peace that I didn’t let my potential stay dormant, but that I actually harnessed and worked with what I’ve been blessed with.  When I decide in my heart to do away with my mental blocks and limitations, I grow as a person.  When I choose to take risks, even the smallest ones, I realise I achieve so much more than I did if I stayed the same.  Because now, I understand that the risk of never moving outweighs every other uncertainty I can encounter.

Sometimes, the greatest risk of life isn’t taking that giant step into the unknown. Sometimes, the greatest risk is never finding out what could’ve happened if you had just started walking.

The world is waiting; so when will youtake your first step?

Written by Samuel Wong.