If you died today, what dreams, what talents and what knowledge would die with you?
It is our natural tendency to avoid risk and play it safe, only taking chances when we have to.
We are taught to make safe investments, look for safe jobs and take the safe opportunity, but where does all that lead?
Where would any growth take place?
Taking acceptable risk is not going blind into any situation, but rather evaluating, admitting that there is a certain level of risk involved.
You will never advance without taking a certain amount of risk.
Are you willing to take risk in order to unlock infinite possibilities for yourself and others?
“When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” – Ellen DeGeneres
3 Reasons to start taking risks:
1. Avoiding risk is also avoiding the maximum potential of your life
Fear of failure is the biggest reason people avoid risk.
Understandably so, risk would not be labeled as risk without a reasonable chance of failure. But there is also a reasonable chance of success.
Why sell yourself short?
Example, I had the option to remain in my hometown following high school graduation. Attend a good school, stay with all my friends and have a solid income.
But, I would be giving up my dream of playing division one college football.
I came to the conclusion that my desire and dream were greater than my fear of failure and would not be able to look myself in the mirror if I didn’t at least try.
Almost three years later, I am a scholarship athlete and major contributor to a D1 college football program in a major conference.
2. Without taking risks you miss out on an opportunity for growth
You must continually break down muscles if you want to get stronger.
The human body will adapt to whatever stress you put on it. If you stop adding stress (i.e. Risk) you will not make any gains.
Without consistently challenging yourself, stepping out of your comfort zone and taking risk, you limit the amount of growth in your life.
You are saying you don’t want to go any higher in life.
I would not be where I am today without taking risk.
3. The rewards, regardless of success or failure, outweigh the cost
Without taking risk and facing my fear of failure, I would not be the man I am today.
What I have learned, how I have developed and whom I have impacted are far beyond what I had ever thought possible.
Even if I had failed, never accomplishing my original goal, I have become so much more than what I previously was and created a larger vision for myself.
Now it was not easy, if it were easy everyone would take risks!
There were many days when I wanted to quit, go home, and go back to my old lifestyle. But because I stayed the course I have reaped the rewards.
A life without risk is a life not lived! Living a lifestyle of taking risk does not happen overnight.
A few ways you can implement taking risk into your daily life right now are:
- Talk to a stranger at the bus stop, train station, or at work. Engaging in simple conversation with a stranger is a great way to build self confidence and break down a limiting belief of possibilities
- If that’s too much, try a new hairstyle or outfit. Read a different kind of book, listen to a different genre of music, or eat a new type of food.
Trying something different everyday is a great way to challenge yourself and change your way of thinking.
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” – Muhammad Ali
Taking risk is all about taking a chance on yourself, defining life on your terms not letting life define you.
The great men and women of our time did not become great by avoiding risk. They took a chance and made themselves great.
What risks are you willing to take?
How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals
Time is the raw material of our lives. How we choose to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.
What is Motivation?
The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our drive to take action.
Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).
Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation more practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take action than it is to be idle. Like choosing to feel awkward while making sales calls over feeling disappointed about a diminishing bank account.
However you choose to think about it, we all want to harness motivation to achieve our goals.
How to Get Motivated
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to continue making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.
This means most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right before we start. Since motivation naturally occurs after we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.
4 Ways to Make Starting Easier
1. Schedule it
One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it.
When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster enough willpower to get it done.
An article in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”
2. Measure something
It’s easy to feel uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re even working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current actions will bring you to achieving your goal.
3. Extrinsic motivation
This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like being fired, having a fight, or being fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work effectively long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.
4. Make it public
Keep yourself accountable by telling friends and family your goals, or even sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something because you’re pressured to not let others down.
How to Stay Motivated Long Term
When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.
These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:
1. Stay in your goldilocks zone
The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too hard and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.
For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become demotivated because the match is too challenging.
The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to face someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.
2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals
Being intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal is when you want to achieve it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of being fired. The drive behind your actions is coming from within.
For most intrinsic goals we pursue them because they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term because they directly affect our quality of life and the things we care about.
3. Use “chunking”
Chunking is the technique of breaking down a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you achieve multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to keep going.
Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to achieve in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results along the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the consistent positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.
For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.
4. Be flexible
We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen along our journey that we can either adjust to or quit because of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can keep up for the long haul.
5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion
Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is actually countless hours of work behind the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction. It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.
This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things around us when starting.
Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can accomplish your goals and shape a life you want to live in.
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