“The greatest risk is really to take no risk at all. You’ve got to get out there, jump off that cliff, and take chances.” – Patrick Warburton
“You’ll shoot your eye out kid”, the famous phrase repeated in the holiday classic, A Christmas Story. And as the phrase suggests, Ralphie does injure his eye. It seems everyone was right. The toy gun he wanted so badly ended up being the very thing that nearly “shot” his eye out.
The Cautionary Tale
I’ve been fed many a cautionary tale—most revolving around enjoying a life of movement. Falls, scrapes, bruises, strains, fractures and concussions have visited me many times. Scars and aches that tell different tales. Memories of past attempts and spills. Times where balance had failed and gravity won.
We see this in our kids. The scars of learning to move. Bumped heads, split lips and scuffed knees. Toddlers are battered as they begin navigating their world. Do we cover them in bubble wrap? Keep them still in order to prevent the scrapes? Of course not. These are the trials of learning to live. Learning new movements.
Playing it Safe
As we get older our knees become less scraped. Scabs become nearly non-existent. A life of comfort may take hold. Yes, we’ve gotten better at movement, but we’ve also stopped learning and moving. Our reservations to try something new increase, we fear the injuries that may occur. We begin to play it “safe”.
What will others think when failure visits in your adult life?
Often times the injuries we fear aren’t physical. We often fear failure. We fear not being “good” at something. What will others think when failure visits in your adult life? I’ve felt this way many times. Afraid to take that step because I was afraid of what others may think. Instead, we start only participating in activities that only confirm our “awesomeness”, not venturing out of our comfort zone.
In Failure, We Learn
In failures, lessons are learned. And many may say “you’ll hurt yourself doing that”; however, what is the alternative? A life of safety? Of comfort? Do we stop learning? There is a price for putting yourself out there—a price paid for action; however, there is a larger debt to pay in the life of comfort. And that debt is collected later in life.
For me, the price of action is one I am willing to pay for a life of progress. A life of constantly learning and taking chances. Never allowing my mind to become stale.
We have to be smart about the way we train and the way we push ourselves. We aren’t to jump off a cliff with a partial parachute. The chances we take need to be calculated. We need to learn lessons we can recover from. We need to approach challenges from an aspect of sustainability. Remember, you’re a dad now. People are counting on you to be around and not broken.
Life lived in action is richer than life lived in comfort.
The lesson Ralphie learned was a hard but necessary one. The scratch to his eye would heal and he would be better for it. Approach your challenges with the understanding that you may fall. You may fail. You may get scraped and bruised. Life lived in action is much richer than life lived in comfort.