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On Life: Taking Risks…

29/03/2011
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“Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.” Katherine Mansfield

On Life: Taking Risks... requires walking through an unknown door

Taking Risks… requires walking through an unknown door
Life itself is a risk… Every time we step outside our door to carry on our daily activities, the potential for harm is increased. Sometimes, we perform actions that carry enormous risks. For instance, participating in high intensity, dangerous activities; drugs, speeding, death-defying sports can cost us our lives. Yet, for those who choose this path, they see no alternative but to seek one adrenaline pumping moment after another.

At other times, we might take a chance to relocate to a new area for a new job, school, a relationship, and risk finding out that we made a mistake. But, unless we try to do the things we fear most and take a chance in life, we limit our opportunities for growth and self-discovery. When I read the Daily Post prompt on the biggest risk I ever took, it made me flash back to my youth; a time when many of us saw ourselves as invincible, and sought endless opportunity for adventure and great risk. I didn’t do anything totally crazy but, like many of my peers, travel and adventure were high on my list.

On Life: Taking Risks... requires stepping outside our comfort zone

Taking Risks… requires stepping outside our comfort zone
When I came to the USA to attend college, I took a huge risk that required I step out of my comfort zone and adjust in a new country; on my own. I was a young, adventurous woman eager to explore new places and, sadly, it meant leaving friends and family behind in London. My dad was not keen on the idea because, even though I had a brother in college in New Jersey, I was not going to attend the same school and I’d be far away from my family. I was eager to try something new and it took some time and effort to adjust to my new world. While I threw myself into life in America, I was not fully prepared for all the challenges my decision would pose. It was a big risk and like any other immigrant, I did wonder, from time to time, if it was the right decision.

If I hadn’t taken the chance to try, I would never have learned how to survive in a new environment and make quick connections with other people. Life is a risk… We learn by doing and if we don’t try new things, we become just another stale cog in the wheel; moving along on the conveyor belt of life; doing the same familiar things… Not much growth in that. Below are two poems on Risk; one by Anais Nin and the other by Miroslav Holub. If we resist walking through the door of life, we never learn its treasures… Some risks are obviously not worth taking… but you get to choose your door. Right? What are your thoughts? What risks have you taken? Regretted? Enjoyed?

Risk by Anais Nin
And then the day came,
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk
it took
to Blossom.  … More below! 🙂

“Most people can do extraordinary things if they have the confidence or take the risks. Yet most people don’t. They sit in front of the telly and treat life as if it goes on forever.”  Philip Andrew Adams

On Life: Taking Risks... is a chance to grow

Taking Risks… is a chance to grow…
If we never take the chance to open the doors that come our way, we never learn its gifts.  Who knows what’s behind each door until we open it..? The doors we open can offer us a great chance, albeit a risky one,  to grow and broaden our perspective of the world we inhabit. Sure, some risks are not worth the door that opens us to them and that is where wisdom, as in good judgment, is needed. But as the saying goes, you never know how well you can handle situations if you always walk away… Try the door and if the price is too high, test another door. What do you think? Below is a terrific poem. Enjoy!

The Door by Miroslav Holub
translated from the Czech by Ian Milner
Go and open the door.
Maybe outside there’s
a tree, or a wood,
a garden,
or a magic city.

Go and open the door.
Maybe a dog’s rummaging.
Maybe you’ll see a face,
or an eye,
or the picture
of a picture.

Go and open the door.
If there’s a fog
it will clear.

Go and open the door.
Even if there’s only
the darkness ticking,
even if there’s only
the hollow wind,
even if
nothing
is there,
go and open the door.

At least
there’ll be
a draught.

Positive Motivation Tip: Choose your door and walk through it; all life is about risk,and until you choose you won’t know the outcome.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Photo of The gates of paradise via Wikipedia , Esfahan door via Wikipedia, Rurak door in Punjab via Wikipedia
The Door from Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times (2002, Bloodaxe Books) edited by Neil Astley.)

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

18 Comments leave one →
  1. 30/03/2011 12:06 am

    LOL, this on I “live in” Risk! I will have to blog about how I am never in my own comfort zone. If a new job or place to live or blog is not a challenge I cannot “move.” I am always on the move, mind is racing. I don’t consider it a flaw. I envy in a good way, others who can be so calm, and sit. I cannot do it. LOL. This entire post is awesome on Risk. I look forward to everyone’s response on this. Jackie

  2. 30/03/2011 12:34 am

    Am looking forward right now to takin a risk in my life… need some push.. got tht frm ur post… thanks Eliz… Bless ya

  3. 30/03/2011 3:03 am

    O.K., Eliz,
    that’s what I shall write about today too 🙂

    safety or change
    concrete or water
    being cautious or risky

    what do we prefer?
    what do some nations prefer?
    on what certain periods of history had been the focus?

  4. 30/03/2011 3:35 am

    oh, Eliz, I didn’t know, that you are an immigrant! respect, compliments!
    – and about Anais Nin (and Henry Miller) I’ve written a lot …

    • 30/03/2011 8:25 am

      I love Anais and Henry. I have an on and off hobby of collecting books. I own a first edition of Nin’s “ladders to Fire” with the dust jacket and all!
      This is a great movie about Henry Miller:

  5. 30/03/2011 6:27 am

    Love your blog, Eliz. Great post! 🙂

  6. 30/03/2011 6:46 am

    As soon as I saw your green door had to break out in song…Green Door what’s that secret your keeping? Penned by Shakin Stevens looooong time ago. And yes if we never go through those doors we will not learn the secrets.
    I have been a risk taker all my life, much to the chagrin of those who love me. Regrets ..I’ve had a few..oh! back to song LOl…
    The fact is that even when things did not work out there was always a whole bunch of good things that did come out of it. Ah experience..love it!
    Chris

  7. 30/03/2011 7:42 am

    Like you I moved away from family and friends in search of something new and exciting. It has turned out to be a great adventure.

  8. 30/03/2011 8:33 am

    I know you’ve taken a lot of risk in your life Elizabeth. You are an inspiration to everyone around you that “risk is a good thing.”
    And then the day came,
    when the risk
    to remain tight
    in a bud
    was more painful
    than the risk
    it took
    to Blossom. …
    This is a very true statement metaphorically. It doesn’t just apply to flowers! I take a risk everyday. I am really hated by a lot of people, but that’s the risk I took.

  9. 30/03/2011 10:02 am

    “Taking Risk is a chance to grow”
    I think that this is true. Most of the people and I know this fact.
    However, fear and worries will interrupt us.
    We should deal with them well and open the door.

    Anyway this post is great. thanks.

  10. 30/03/2011 11:40 am

    Thank you for the Anais Nin words…it’s funny, because I have the personality of a “homebody” and “non-risk-taker”…however, I have taken MANY risks over the course of my life…and have grown stronger and more confident with each one…went banana boat riding, undersea walking and parasailing even though I am afraid of the water and don’t swim…went hiking in the Colorado Rockies, drove up to the top of Pikes Peak, and went skydiving even though I am not fond of heights…and now, because of my desire to promote my book, I’ve called bookstores, schools, libraries, etc. to see if they would be interested in offering my book even though I always had a phone phobia and was always timid about approaching or meeting new people.
    The words of Nin’s “Risk” reverberate in my soul. Beautiful post, Eliz…we are all blessed that, of all the places in the world you could have chosen, you settled here, to share your sunshine and positive take on life! 🙂

  11. 30/03/2011 12:05 pm

    What a fantastic post. I will have to give it a second read to really absorb the idea. But nonetheless it can be said that life itself presents the constant perception of risk. I believe, however that we are more able to navigate them when we set aside our longing for being “grounded” and instead embrace the “groundlessness” of life. When we see life as a series of ever-changing moments with multiple factors effecting each and every moment, we can face those “risks” with a serenity that is balanced with a true pereception of things as they really are.

  12. 30/03/2011 12:16 pm

    I have always loved that Anais poem.

    Another quote I love:
    If we are unwilling to risk anything . . . we risk everything.

  13. 30/03/2011 2:43 pm

    beautiful–and the Anais Nin poem is one of my favorites…

    risk is necessary…and dreadfully scary…

    but if we don’t risk, don’t move away from our comfort zones…well, we might as well go hop in our burial plot right now.

    what is life if not terrible beauty, tremendous hope, and love?

    thanks for this post, today.
    blessings
    jane

  14. 30/03/2011 4:50 pm

    Awesome post. Fair play to you from moving to a completely different country. I think you put it perfectly when you said “Taking Risks… is a chance to grow…
    If we never take the chance to open the doors that come our way, we never learn its gifts.  Who knows what’s behind each door until we open it..?”

    Life is a full on learning experience and really we should open each door to experience all that life has to offer

  15. 30/03/2011 6:26 pm

    Beautiful, love the pictures of the doors. If we never step outsideof the box, life will pass us by. We have to be willing to get out of our comfort zone, anf take those risks in life. Helping us; not only to be able to survive, but it helps us to become more confident, building our self esteem for reaching higher goals in life.

  16. 30/03/2011 10:24 pm

    This is wonderful. Keep your inspiring posts coming, Elizabeth. 🙂

  17. 30/03/2011 11:05 pm

    Great story Eliz, thanks so much for sharing… Taking risks certainly does lead one to grow… I’ve taken my share and learned from them; even when the outcome wasn’t quite what I expected there were still lessons learned and maturing taking place. Loves to ya Eliz <3

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