I recently was reminded that great achievements involve great risks. So what really constitutes a great risk?
I’m thinking that it is anything that pushes us out of our comfort zones and requires extra effort to put into motion. That may seem too minor, but after working most of my life in personal development of one sort or another, I know how difficult it is for human beings to change the way they do things.
The other side of this is what constitutes a great achievement?
I am acutely aware that being in my sixties, I have a tendency to look back at my life and forward toward my future and question whether I have been or will be of any true value to my world. I can see that I was less conscious of this when I was younger, more focused on simply doing what I wanted to do. Was living my life from a self-directed place a great achievement? Does it matter if my name never appears in a history book, rather that I lived fully and touched peoples’ lives in my own unique way? Who is the judge? Am I? Are you? Is there “someone” keeping the “permanent record” of our lives?
One great risk I took a couple of years ago was to sell my rep firm and stop having the identity I had lived with for 29 years. I didn’t realize how big a change it was for a while after, as I was very caught up in a contract with a non-profit in NYC and stayed equally busy. When I ended that work, came back home and mainly focused on caring for my mother and doing my own work through PeopleBiz, I began to see how much that “business owner” identity had informed my life.
In a way I was “untethered” and a bit at loose ends. I began to question myself and my value. I’m still working on that, and it is part of what I am writing about in my series on being a Life Entrepreneur. This is my personal journey of forging new ground, finding what works and doesn’t work for me, not fitting into anyone else’s mold of what I’m meant to be.
This is the risk of finding out more about what I’m made of, how I truly want to live, and how that affects others in my world. It’s scary. And from time to time, deeply fulfilling. It will be interesting to see what comes of it.