Bad Decision/Good Outcome?

Just some more ruminations from your certified life coach here. NOT! Don’t listen to me if you know what’s good for you.

I don’t even really know how, but I stumbled across this article (screenshot below) and it got me thinking about completely unrelated ideas along the same lines. I’ve been up all night so I don’t even know if I will be able to tie this together or if it’s even worth tying together, but this is my blog so deal with it, jerk!

So the above excerpt makes some terrific sense. I would send this article to anyone running a business, going to a casino, or planning something big in general. In order to be successful, we need to minimize our risk and avoid as many imprudent decisions as possible.

The problem is that in matters of the heart, creative endeavors, leaving an unfulfilling career, etc. the concept of “mistake” becomes incredibly relative. Playing it safe in the business world is sage advice necessary to come back and fight another day, but in the studies of humanities and technology, I don’t recall seeing any books at the library titled “Great Conquests In The Annals Of Avoiding Danger”.

There is most certainly a cost for anything worthwhile. And it usually involves some/many failures. I think risk aversion is pummeled into us from an early age. “Safety first”! It’s the reason children in kindergarten ALL claim to be artists, yet ten years later only a small percentage are willing to describe themselves in this way.

Anyway, my fundamental point is mistakes make us us. And sometimes elevate us to a place we could never have imagined ourselves before. Without going into a ton of details, at one point in my life I risked it all for a relationship that was everything to me. Everything that I could lay on the line, I did. Long story short, it failed miserably…miserably! To the point that years later, I still cursed the decision due to the intense heartache it created.

But in hindsight, losing that huge chunk of myself forced me to grow into someone who ended up in new, exciting places I would have never made it to otherwise. There’s no comparison between where I am now and where I would be if I hadn’t decided to go for broke. My life would be utterly boring. Unintended consequences aren’t always negative.

Yeah, let’s play it safe in terms of not haphazardly crossing the street into an oncoming school bus. But in more subjective pursuits, let’s not let the fear of pain deter us from taking risks that remind us what it’s like to really live. After all, Socrates wasn’t no slouch.

“The unexamined life is not worth living”

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