Monday, July 20, 2009

Courage (and risk)

It only takes guts to get started. Once something has begun, we then throw ourselves into the work and into taking care of the details and occasionally step back to take a look at the broader vision. But it is the first step that takes the most courage.

A friend of mine and I recently had a discussion about what separates a decent bicycle racer and a mediocre bicycle racer in the amateur ranks. We both agreed that one of the key elements was a willingness to throw oneself headlong into the unknown. When a bike racer races away from the main group of racers, he or she willingly throws themselves into uncertain territory in the effort to win the race. Most, even if they become professional racers, don’t know if they will succeed and they risk a certain degree of humiliation if they are caught by the following racers later in the day. The beauty of such courageous efforts is that if the effort succeeds, then the next time the racer races he or she will know that there exists a possibility if they are willing to take some risk.

This is an apt metaphor for any project, life direction, ambition, or creative outlet; we must throw ourselves headlong into the unknown. We can be calculated about it, we can train our abilities well, but we must eventually take the risk. We must eventually face the unknown. It is true for any endeavor, be it art, athletics, relationships, writing, business, parenting, education, etc.

Where in your life have you stalled due to reservations about taking the risk? Can you motivate yourself to give it a go. To say, “well, let’s give it a try then.” There is no shame that I can think of in trying.

As always I hope you have enjoyed this blog and I welcome your comments. Also please visit my website at

All my best,


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