This I Believe Essay
“A life without risks is no life at all.”
Helen Keller once said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” This I believe in taking risks. This past year I was faced with an own personal risk of my own. I had the opportunity to become a freshman cheerleader at my school. I went to almost the whole week of tryouts, and on the last day decided that I should try something new this year. All my friends tried out, and most of them made the team. I felt a little disappointed afterwards thinking that I would be left out this school year. I then decided to run for Secretary of the freshman class, and I won. I was too focused on the door that closed to see the one that opened. It is so vital that we, instead of worrying about all the risks we didn’t take, ponder on new adventures and risks that lay ahead. In the dictionary, “risk” is defined as “danger tension or possible loss; the willingness to make a mistake.” You have to be willing to win big or fall hard, because this is truly what taking risks is all about.
The number one reason for people not taking risks in the world today is fear of failure. Everyone at some point in their lives have avoided taking a risk because they worried they might not fit in, they might be made fun of, or they simply didn’t think that the outcome looked very good. If someone lived their life without taking any risks, would be no life at all. I, as a student, am faced with hundreds of choices and risks in a day. There is a big difference between a choice and a risk; a risk is something that you take and a choice is something that you make. You make the choice to take a risk, sometimes paying off and sometimes not. It doesn’t really matter if you become some rich successful business man, just as long as you are happy with your actions, and have grown and learned a lot in the process.
I think the only way we can grow and learn is by improving ourselves and going out of our comfort zones. We should try to go out of our comfort zones at least every day because it only helps, not hurts, our confidence. When you have a good amount of self confidence, then people believe in you and what you stand for. How else would we discover new breakthroughs in science and technology? How else would ipods, cell phones and computers be invented? By people going out of their comfort zone, trying something new, and taking those risks. All of those examples certainly could have turned out bad, but fortunately they didn’t. No one knew what the consequences of their risk would be, but just trying their best and going for it is what makes all the difference.
If Rosa Parks had never taken the risk and stood up for what she believed in then how would that affect our society today? If Thomas Edison had never taken the risk to invent something completely foreign, then how would that affect us now? What I’m trying to say is that it doesn’t matter how old you are or what time period you are in, you always have the ability and opportunities to take risks. Sometimes we are just too blind to see all the opportunities coming our way.
The last thing I would like to talk to you about today is potential. One very simple word, but yet can mean so much. We all have unlimited potential, and any one of us could be the next Bill Gates or Thomas Edison. They all started our normal kids just like any of us. And by taking risks, have become very successful and known around the world. The only people that have reached their full potential in life have been the ones that have taken the biggest risks. The man that started Federal Express was about to go bankrupt one night. He bet his payroll on a game of poker and won. Everything seemed to blossom from then on and now everyone around the world knows the success of his company. It’s amazing to think about how dramatically different his life would have been if he wouldn’t have taken that risk that night. He never would have known what could have been, what should have been. I hate the feeling of not knowing that something great could have happened, should have happened, would have happened, but didn’t. This is usually because we had the fear of failure and didn’t take that extra risk. Personally, I don’t think that regrets shouldn’t exist. If we all lived our lives without any regrets, how great of a life would that be? Not wishing you would have acted differently, said something differently, always being satisfied with your actions. I think that our lives would be perfect.
The only way we can be satisfied with our actions is if we do things we normally wouldn’t do. If I lived my life doing everything thing I had always originally planned on doing, how boring of a life would I have? It’s good to have a guideline of what to do in life, but I think that the most fun decisions are made spontaneously. It gives your life that extra spice that I know we all need every once in awhile.
It’s important to remember that only we can determine how we live our lives. Only we are responsible for the consequences of our actions, only we are responsible for living our life to the fullest, only we are responsible for making our lives as fun as they could possibly be, only we are responsible for the risks we take, the choices we make, and most importantly our attitude. Take all the risks you can, don’t have any regrets, and remember, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.