The African impala has the amazing ability of being able to leap 10 feet in the air and cover a distance of 10 yards in one jump, and yet the animal can be contained in a compound with walls only 3 or 4 feet high! Why? – Because the impala won’t jump unless it can see where it’s going to land. As a result impalas can be captured and imprisoned using their own self-imposed limitations. Many people act the same way: They are captured and imprisoned by their own self-imposed limitations, i.e. fear. The only way to escape the ‘impala syndrome’ is to take a risk and jump. You may not be able to see what’s on the other side of the wall, but if you don’t jump you’ll die wondering.
Tortoises only make progress when they stick their necks out; the same can often be said about humans!
Don’t look; you might see.
Don’t listen; you might hear.
Don’t think; you might learn.
Don’t walk; you might stumble.
Don’t run; you might fall.
Don’t decide; you might be wrong.
Don’t risk; you might fail.
Don’t live; you might die.
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
To expose your feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas and your dreams before a crowd
Is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To try is to risk failure.
To ask is to risk rejection.
But, risks must be taken,
Because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing
And is nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he cannot learn,
Feel, change, grow, love or live his certitude’s.
He is a slave; he has forfeited his freedom.
Only a person who risks is really free.
“The most dangerous aspect of the comfort zone is that it seems to affect our hearing. The more comfortable we are, the more oblivious we become to the sound of the ticking clock.”
‘The Comfort Zone
I used to have a comfort zone where I knew I wouldn’t fail.
But the same four walls and busy-work were really more like jail.
I longed so much to do the things I’d never done before,
But I stayed inside my comfort zone and paced the same old floor.
I said it didn’t matter that I wasn’t doing much.
I said I didn’t care for things like commission slips and such.
I claimed to be so busy with the things inside the zone,
But deep inside I longed for something special of my own.
I couldn’t let my life go by watching others win.
I held my breath; I stepped outside and let the change begin.
I took a step and with new strength I’d never felt before,
I kissed my comfort zone goodbye and closed and locked the door.
So, if you’re in a comfort zone, afraid to venture out,
Remember that all winners were at one time filled with doubt.
A step or two with words of praise can make your dreams come true.
Reach for the future with a smile; success is waiting for you.
“Security is knowing what tomorrow will bring. Boredom is knowing what the day after tomorrow will bring.”
Ziggy, cartoon philosopher
Have you ever watched a young fledgling bird attempting to fly? The bird starts off by flapping its wings – on the spot, as it were – to exercise them, to get the feel of the wind and to learn how to judge the air currents. Eventually, the bird picks up enough courage to take the leap of faith; to take its feet of the ground and launch itself into the air. Usually, what happens is the bird aims for an adjacent branch on the same or a nearby tree and attempts to make a dash for it. Sometimes the bird makes it but often it will fail to reach its intended target and crash land on some other branch. Does the young bird give up? – No, of course not. – It tries and tries again until it eventually achieves its objective. There is an important lesson behind this little escapade. The message is this: It is better to take a risk and launch out into new territory than to live your whole life in a place that you don’t want to be.
R. Ian Seymour
Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again. – Ecclesiastes 11:1 (NIV1984 Edition) This verse tells us to be a little daring, adventurous even; like those who accept the worthwhile risks and consequently reap the worthwhile benefits of sea-borne trade.
Someone has said: ‘If Columbus had had an advisory committee, he’d still be sitting at the dock.”
Two seeds lay dormant in the soil in the corner of a farmyard. The first little seed wanted to grow big and strong and produce fruit and seed of its own. So the first little seed sent its roots deep into the earth where it was able to find all the water and nutrients that it needed. The seed established a root system to provide an anchor that would give the seedling, then the sapling and finally the plant, the stability it would need to sustain its future growth. The seed grew and developed limbs and stretched them towards the sky so that it could feel the sun’s caressing rays upon its foliage and provide abundant fruit that would be enjoyed by many. This first little seed had lofty ambitions and it became the beautiful plant that it had always dreamed of becoming.
The second little seed also wanted the same things, but the second little seed was afraid. The soil was cold and dark and uninviting. The second seed was afraid that if it sent its roots down into the earth, it might encounter rocks or even worse, a worm! (Worms, of course, are very partial to tender roots!) And what if the seed should sprout; surely the delicate little sprouts would be damaged trying to push through the heavy compacted soil above it. And if, perchance, the shoots did manage to make it to the surface, wouldn’t they be trampled underfoot, or scorched by the burning sun or strangled by the other plants all vying for the same space? The second little seed decided it was too risky! It would wait and see what happened to the other seed first. Besides which, the seed was quite comfortable where it was. For the time being, at least, the second little seed decided to play it safe and remain dormant. Unfortunately, however, that very same morning a farmyard hen scratching about in the undergrowth discovered the dormant seed and promptly ate it!
Now the message behind this tale is simply this: Those who choose not to take risks often get eaten up with the why’s and worries of the world. Don’t let that happen to you; don’t be eaten away by whys and worries and fears. Instead, remember that nothing ventured is nothing gained.
R. Ian Seymour
R. Ian Seymour, except adapted from Discover Your True Potential
A coward dies many times, a brave man only once.
“Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have and should have.”
Louis E. Boone
“The businessman who is able to calculate his risks – and then is willing to take them – has his battle for success nine-tenths won. The remaining one-tenth is the unknown variable, the unpredictable factor that puts the zest and excitement into the game. Without the ‘x’ factor, business would be hopelessly dull, routine and uninteresting.”
J. Paul Getty
J. Paul Getty, How To Be Rich, J. Paul Getty, p.68
“Everyone has butterflies in their stomach. The only difference between a pro and an amateur is that the pro has butterflies in formation!”
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968), US statesman, attorney general and senator
“You have to find something that you love enough to be able to take risks, jump over hurdles and break through the brick walls that are always going to be placed in front of you. If you don’t have that kind of feeling for what it is you’re doing, you’ll stop at the first giant hurdle.”
‘The Sailing Ship’
I’d rather be the ship that sails
And rides the billows wild and free;
Than to be the ship that always fails
To leave the port and go to sea.
I’d rather feel the sting of strife,
Where gales are born and tempests roar;
Than to settle down to useless life
And rot in dry dock on the shore.
I’d rather fight some mighty wave
With honour in supreme command;
And fill at last a well-earned grave,
Than die in ease upon the sand.
I’d rather drive where sea storms blow,
And be a ship that always failed,
To make the ports where it should go,
Than be the ship that never sailed.
Source: Poems That Touch the Heart, compiled by A.L. Alexander, p.212
Remember, if you won’t ask you won’t get,
And if you don’t take a chance you won’t stand a chance.
“Never, for the sake of peace and quiet, deny your own experience or convictions.”
Dag Hammarskjöld, statesman and holder of the Nobel Peace Prize.