Grow Up by Taking Risks Like a Child
Are you taking risks like a child would? Think of how happy you felt the last time you said, “I feel like a kid again.”
As a kid I was a dreamer; I believed in magic, I had dreams of doing things that were far beyond a child’s capabilities, I would spend hours building trying to defy physics with lego, and I vividly remember terrifying dreams that felt real.
What happens to our imagination when we grow up? What happens to our burning curiosity and willingness to overcome, that we all once had as kids? Why do we start worrying so much?
Are we really growing up?
We gain the ability to separate fantasy and reality. We’re told what we can and can’t do. We’re reminded of the responsibilities we have and the consequences that come when we fail to live up to them. It’s much more safe to avoid risk taking, and chose comfort.
Is our fear of consequence irrational?
We live to work and work to live. Our money made at work is almost immediately frisked away to pay bills, loans and save for a far away retirement. Is that it? Where is the fulfillment?
As we get older, we start focusing more on the consequences of actions and risk taking. Following a dream becomes more consequential with each responsibility we add.
We need to reflect on our younger selves and unlearn our fear of consequence.
When we are young we make a lot of stupid, reckless, childish risks; but from every failure, we learn something big. We learn the most in childhood, so maybe we could benefit from more childish decision-making in adulthood.
As children we were more impulsive with our risk taking, most times we would pay for it, but the odd time it would pay off.
Life is a gamble. If you expose yourself to small risks you can expect a small payout.
When you expose yourself to a high risk you can expect a huge learning experience or payoff.
Unlike a casino, losing in life can still be fun on the ride down.
In my last year of college, I took a month-long trip to Indonesia and missed an eighth of my final semester. On paper, this was a terribly childish idea.
- It seemed like a fun idea
- Spend $2000 out of a student loan for travel
- Very poorly planned
- Canadian government places Indonesia on a travel advisory warning
- I would miss 1/8th of final year
- I could fail out of school
- Most of my professors advised against it
(I really don’t have enough time to finish this list.)
The point being, it was an idiotic idea, but my experience from that trip will make me a better person for the rest of my life. This childish, stupid and reckless decision continues to shape who I am, and who I will become.
Recklessness is frowned upon because when the bad happens it can be terrible: but I would argue that never taking risks and making “bad” decisions is terrible as well.
If you fail to seek-out life it will slip you by.
When it comes to experiences, disregard the consequences of taking risks, because there is more that can be found and that should be enough to make you look for it. Follow your passion idiotically because the idiot is the person who settles for less, out of fear.
In the comment section below, tell me something stupid you did as a kid. What did you learn?
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Marketing consultant, blogger and personal performance strategist.