Risk Always Pays Off

Each of us harbors dreams, feels an unexplained attraction to uncharted territories, and possesses a strong desire to explore, something we ponder at least once a week. Yet, thus far, I’ve encountered only a handful of individuals who heed this unrestrained curiosity. Most merely dream throughout their lives. This sentiment was beautifully expressed by Pocahontas in one of Disney’s fairy tales from the 1990s:

What I love most about rivers is
You can't step in the same river twice
The water's always changing, always flowing
But people, I guess, can't live like that
We all must pay a price
To be safe, we lose our chance of ever knowing
What's around the riverbend
Waiting just around the riverbend

Our human instinct for self-preservation usually discourages us from venturing into the unknown. We are naturally apprehensive about what lies beyond the bend in the river. The human mind favors the known because it offers stability and security, which are essential for a tranquil existence. Adhering to established routines not only offers convenience but also provides us with predictable outcomes of our existence. As a result, we often subconsciously repeat even harmful behavioral patterns from childhood, as they are familiar, safe, and trigger an unconditional reflex.

However, when we reminisce about our earlier years, we realize that we don’t recall days that blend together in a monotonous rhythm. Instead, we remember moments that deviate from the norm. We most often recall experiences that brought immense joy or great sorrow. Have you ever reconnected with an old classmate and reminisced about mundane routines like “Remember how every day we woke up in the morning, went to school, studied, and had sandwiches during the break?” Unlikely. More often, you’d say, “Do you remember when we went on a class trip and got lost?” or “Recall that difficult exam that most of us failed?”

The acquisition of new knowledge allows us to grow. The world expand far more than our immediate surroundings. If we spend years in the same job, in the same position, with the same people, shopping at the same store, driving the same car, and watching the same TV series every night, our lives become dull and monotonous. We wither and become confined within the gilded cage we’ve constructed for ourselves, trapped in a world of unchanging beliefs and preconceived notions.

It has always been this way […] It's a tradition.
My friend, it is also a tradition that times change.

Akeem, Prince in New York

Despite our desire for everything to remain as we know it, time flows relentlessly, whether we embrace it or not. If we don’t adapt to the evolving reality, we’ll become like fossilized statues, unable to move, only capable of contemplating missed opportunities. Those who work in nursing homes often express that these places are filled with regrets about unseized chances and bitterness about the passage of unused time.

When I listen to interviews with senior entrepreneurs, millionaires, or simply content individuals, they consistently stress one thing: Take risks while you can, embrace challenges as they come. Even though these people are widely considered brave, and their actions are deemed risky, they invariably express a wish that they had taken even more risks.

I feel it there beyond those trees
Or right behind these waterfalls
Can I ignore that sound of distant drumming?
For a handsome sturdy husband
Who builds handsome sturdy walls
And never dreams that something might be coming
Just around the riverbend

What saves us in this situation are the desires we mentioned earlier—desires we may reject but can never truly forget. We also recognize that we have only this moment, this one life, and no second chances. When we opt for safe and stable solutions, we do so without risking the unknown adventures that could await us. Many of us are aware of what we “should do” or what’s considered the “safe solution,” and we often choose these options out of fear.

But what if we had nothing to lose, and we could do anything? It’s an enlightening exercise to explore what you truly want in life. Imagine that you’re not constrained by money or obligations. What would you do with your life? I answered this question less than a year ago, saying that I’d become a famous influencer, creating YouTube videos and TikTok content, writing blogs, and eventually publishing a book, while also singing and writing in general. Then, I was posed a question by Kasia Radziejewska: “Okay, that sounds cool, but what’s stopping you?” After a lengthy conversation, it became evident that my biggest hindrances were fear of failure, fear of ridicule, and the fear of losing financial stability. I addressed these concerns, which led me to write a blog today. I’m not famous yet, but I know what steps I need to take to get there.

In the song, Pocahontas is also aware of the safe path she can take—marrying Kokouma, the stable and respected future village chief. However, she can’t suppress her curiosity about what lies beyond the familiar territory. She questions whether she should abandon her dreams and lead a secure life. Deep down, she knows that doing so would mean spiritual death for her.

Should I choose the smoothest course
Steady as the beating drum?
Should I marry Kocoum?
Is all my dreaming at an end?
Or do you still wait for me, dream giver
Just around the riverbend?

Are you slowly killing your soul every day by opting for simple and safe solutions? Did you know that you can feel dead inside even while you’re alive? I’ve met people who, in private conversations, confessed, ‘I feel like I’m dead inside; I’m not happy anymore, and I don’t care about what happens.’ I recall a time in my life when, despite having everything on the surface, I felt profoundly unhappy and empty inside. I even contemplated how peaceful it might be to end it all.Thankfully, my despair gave way instead of my life. This transformation occurred when I began to follow my heart, moving beyond mere dreaming and acting according to my instincts, even when it meant taking risks with what was known and safe.

Organize your life.

The first publication in the Untold product series, created to share methodology for organizing everyday life, cultivating systematic discipline, and developing proper habits. Drawing from the author's experience, knowledge, beliefs, and commonly available coaching tools, she aims to inspire you to take action and present you with a straightforward approach to achieving fulfillment and building self-esteem. Written in a simple way, it contains examples from everyday life, practical tips, exercises, and beautiful graphics. Available in e-book and audiobook.

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