I had an incredible weekend in gorgeous San Diego. Then today, my last day in town, I almost died.
I was meeting my friend David at In-N-Out Burger. As I pulled off the freeway, suddenly the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I went on full “spidey sense” alert. I drove into the parking lot and pulled into a parking spot. As my foot hit the brake, another car went zooming past the rear of my car at high speed, swerving and smashing into a vehicle across the street. I have no idea why he was going so fast, but he was completely out of control. I watched it happen in my rearview mirror.
Had I pulled into that parking spot 5 seconds earlier I would have been hit head on. The man driving had to be extracted from his car about 30 minutes later after the fire department and ambulance arrived. He was in pretty bad shape.
I was down in San Diego for the Mindshare Summit. Many of the biggest and brightest in the online health community were there. It was an incredibly inspiring weekend and I met many wonderful people. I also got to see many of my old friends, and learned a great deal. It was a fun opportunity for self reflection and personal growth.
As I was winding down and reflecting on the day’s events, this came across my Facebook off my friend Kathryn’s feed. It really spoke to me:
“The highest amount of risk you will ever face is from doing absolutely nothing.
We avoid going forward in our life, because we perceive the risk to be greater to us than to just keep on doing what we are doing. We compare the risk of change, which is really the fear of the unknown, and compare it to the relative safety of just staying in our comfort zone.
Ten years from now someone then asks you, “What have you done with the last 10 years of your life?” You answer, “Nothing! I stayed in a job I didn’t really like (or a town or a relationship), and was mediocre at that job because it wasn’t really what I wanted to do.”
You avoided the risk of the unknown, meaning you were afraid to take on a new job or walk away from a relationship that was killing you, but you sacrificed your life in the process. The greatest risk in life is not in seeking an unknown future; it is getting trapped by a known past. You risked nothing, but lost it all by doing nothing.
We seek safety in the comfort and routine of our life, but all that could be taken away from you quickly. That comforting job you don’t like, but won’t leave, will be taken away, because no one is ever good at something they don’t like and you will eventually fail. That relationship you won’t leave will never be special, because while you stayed and are there to avoid risk and dealing with the pain, you spend more mental energy wishing you had the courage to be somewhere else and waste the years anyway; time you can never regain in life.
The only thing you have in life no one can take away from you; the only thing in life that cancels all risk is the talent you develop in yourself. Someone can take everything you own, including the clothes on your back, but no one can ever take your talent without your permission.
Seek risk in life. There is no true safety where you will be forever risk free, but there is talent and your talent is never developed until you find the courage to move forward and challenge yourself again and again. You risk more by sitting still than you ever will by giving yourself a chance to be the best you can be.” – Thomas Plummer
I’m preparing myself to take some risks and do some growing in the coming months. It’s a bit nerve-wracking, but if not now, then when?
P.S. Practice gratitude. I’m taking today’s scary event as an extra reminder.
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