Imagine an eagle that refuses to fly despite countless entreaties. Is it still going to hold the identity of an eagle? The answer is obvious that the eagle has pushed its reputation off a cliff. Somebody who holds back from taking risks is like that eagle. Risk is part of us.
Many of us view risk as an uncertain, life-altering, bloody and deadly endeavor. No wonder why many people keep on widening their comfort zone instead of leaving it. This happens in a different form: A lecturer that sticks to an old way of teaching, a business leader that does not develop new skills, an entrepreneur that holds back from market research, and so on.
Although, what I know is that I have not lived life enough without taking risks. I discovered along the line interesting and practical ways to handle risks.
There Should be a Clear Reason for Taking Risks
There is always a result attached to a risk. Risk should have paperwork. It might take a long time or a snap of time to plan, but you always know why you’re taking a risk. The result you expect is what that motivates you to push on at all odds.
Christopher Boswell published an article with a picture that shows a farmer who drives two heavy-duty vehicles on his farm; one to harvest and the other to collect — two vehicles one driver. The farmer took the risk for some clear reasons. He knew there were buyers waiting for his produce, and he would not allow workers who were not turning up that day, or who wouldn’t want to work to prevent that.
The journalist that trained me for a reportorial skill publishes his community newspapers almost alone. He had sleepless nights collating his papers besides the efforts that went into writing, typing, proofreading, editing, interviewing, and so much more. He is responsible for the 90% of the contents found in the newspapers published at the inception. He sustained injuries, endured constant robberies, etc. No matter the challenge he has learned to overcome it.
There are still more examples of people who take risks. Every work we do has a risky element; it is like a wall that separates mediocrity from exceptionality. As long as we are not breaking the barrier, we can’t be any better.
Anyway, we should pursue risk with a clear aim. We can lose focus because of the time a risk lasts. With the aim as our traveling guide, we know is a matter of distance not loss of direction.
Risk Can Be Tricky
I took the risk to write on Medium. To me, it was a risk, for I wondered how I would appeal to the exceptional and diverse minds found on this platform. I love the platform even before I started writing. I noticed at first encounter how conducive it is for learning. The love for the platform and the gratification I expect push me to continue to take the risk.
The laptop I used broke down often during those times of my maiden publication. Before I could publish my first article, I can’t recall the number of shutdowns and restarts I did. I was anxious; I was down; I was angry.
I downloaded the Medium app to write using my phone but limited in terms of functions. Then I discovered I could write with my mobile Chrome browser just by changing it to desktop view. I plugged a keyboard to the phone with the help of an OTG cable. With the same desktop view on my mobile phone, I would log in to Grammarly and Hemingwayapp cutting and pasting my drafts. I may write the experience this way, but it requires a lot of patience — I had to glue my eyes into a small screen, zooming in and out to see and access.
The drama was becoming more complicated. I just stopped. I resumed learning more about what to do. Not long, the same motivation surfaced, and I had to plan again to restart the risk.
This time I gathered all my ideas to fit into one aim. Then I thought to set up a publication that captures the aim.
I know how impossible it will be to work alone. So I sought help from others as prospective partners or sponsors. The capital I requested was, in fact, a meager one that would mean for me working extra hours. The meager largesse or loan’s request failed, and no one is showing up.
I launched Iqcurve on Medium just of recent. I was glad when somebody clapped the two maiden posts. I could not hold my excitement. Just a few hours later I wondered what was going on, and I waited for more days. Then I asked myself whether the one who clapped was the only one on Medium.
Expectation can ruin efforts. It is like counting chicks before they hatch. The early validation I got was unbelievable, so I almost lost my control. I was expecting the experience to continue. I forgot about the reality of the risk I am taking.
What Is Possible with Risk
I saw that I need an emotional sturdiness to carry me through the ordeal if I don’t want to stop again.
A long time ago, I wrote reasons I should publish on the cover of a notebook: There are countless prospective beneficiaries out there; whatever I’m doing now is for the future to come; I should not worry about issues pertaining to capital, clap, and content,
I agree that growth is painful, but the reward is wonderful.
To push forward harder and longer I know I need more than a mental representation of a productive endeavor. I remind myself of my passion for creating values. I assure myself that I am good enough to publish because of my past professional and vocational experiences. I know that I need to have the personality that will be the basis for a happy life, good habit, resilience, learning culture and so on.
I go further to recreate the validation I yearn for by treating what I’m doing as journaling. Risk is strenuous like a marathon. What water does to a marathoner is what validation does to anyone taking a risk. I’m viewing the publication as a diary or a journal. That I could finish an article is the validation I always crave. This gives me the endorphin I need to move on.
Planning is useful whenever we are taking risks. We need to have a lot of options to switch back and forth from. It is a similar thing that gets airplanes, ships, vehicles, and trains to their destinations. They have planned for every issue they confront. I need to plan; I need to be dimensional.
I agree with this quote, but I couldn’t find the owner and exact wording:
Fly as high as you can, but make sure your legs are prepared for landing.
I don’t believe death should be the end of some risks I take or insanity or bankruptcy. I try to help myself land always on a safe base. I have side projects; I am an apprentice; I exercise; I eat; I meditate and pray, and I help others. I need all these to survive risky endeavors.
Ayodeji Awosika tweeted that despite he was doing so much, he is not burning out. It is rare to have writers make this kind of confession. In fact, studies on prolific and exceptional writers show many who experienced overload. The article that captured these studies concluded that if there is any writer with a different testimony he or she is worth emulating. If you can find a writer like Ayo to share how he navigates this risky world of writing or other professions, it is a big plus.
Take Your Risk Now or Later, but Not Taking It Is Impossible
Taking a risk now could be because doing it later would be a wasting of time. Taking it later could be because that time has gained the proofs needed to survive the strenuous activity. But not taking it at all is what is impossible. If you fear not trying a new thing or leaving your comfort zone or helping yourself out, you’re taking a risk you’re not aware of and that is the most dangerous situation that anyone could wish himself.
It’s advisable to be a conscious risk-taker. Starting small, somewhere, somehow, but not anyhow is good for taking an interesting and practical risk. You’ll get to the point whereby your muscles become strong to take more risks. During that time, breakthroughs and discoveries will always come your way. We base the edges some have over others in the same professional circle they are in on their willingness to take the risk. So take your risk now!