Progress always involves risks. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first base.- Frederick B. Wilcox
I love that quote. It’s a great reminder that risk is a necessary part of life if you want to achieve anything great (as defined by you, of course). Those words pop in my mind when I find myself doing something for the money despite having no passion for it while half-trying (but really just hoping) to succeed at my pie-in-the-sky goals and cursing the fact that I haven’t reached them yet.
Some of you may be thinking, But we need money to live! and that there’s nothing wrong with earning an honest living, no matter what the job is. You won’t get an argument from me on that. Many of us have responsibilities beyond ourselves, so there are times we have to suck it up and bring home the bacon. Period.
It’s also important, though, to be ready to reach for the proverbial brass ring (however you define it).
Will timing ever be perfect? Nope. Are you guaranteed to succeed? Hardly. Can I promise you there won’t be nights when you’re staring at an empty refrigerator, licking the inside of the peanut butter jar for dinner? Can’t.
But I bet you knew this:
If you want to win big, you have to play big!
And for ordinary folks like us, playing big never seems to come with a safety net.
How often do we know exactly what we want to achieve but still spend most of our time doing something else? The must-dos take up so much of our time and energy that we’re left with little if any for our true goals in life and we’re left feeling unsettled, unfulfilled, and downright exhausted from trying (and probably failing) to do everything well.
Please don’t think I’m immune to keeping my foot on first base for too long, though. What a fantastic, stifling crutch a steady, predictable income can be, especially for someone who has both had one and not had one. I was reminded of this again recently by Srinivas Rao, who writes about losing his safety blankets at Skool of Life and unfortunately not by his choice. Yet Srinivas writes about embracing uncertainty:
The beauty of an uncertain future is that it is open for being written according to your desires,
Why not swing for the fences once in a while too? Play ball!
Have you been guilty of wanting to steal second but keeping your foot on first?
What steps can you take to move forward toward your goals, even if they involve risk?