How Taking a Risk Can Help You Live a Better Life

Last Friday my wife, Tammy, took a huge risk. She put notice in at her workplace that she will be leaving at Christmas. Tammy’s been a teacher for more than twenty-five years. That run is about to come to an end. For a number of years now she has dreamed of taking a risk and trying something else with her life.


The reasons are numerous. Teachers are encumbered with enormous amounts of paperwork these days. They are threatened by regulation that is way too strict. And the pay is far, far below what it ought to be for the people who are training up our children. Not to mention the fact that we will soon be grandparents.

More than that, Tammy is a creative person. Her sights are set on turning her creativity into an income. So she started a decorative pillow company that is already seeing income and growth.

All of this came to a head when she watched a Tedx TalkIt’s a talk entitled, “Risk Forward.” The speaker recounts how she studied with world renowned mime, Marcel Marceau. In his class he taught his students a basic move. The move calls for you to put one foot forward, slightly off balance, with your heart out. Risk forward. (I can’t recommend this Tedx Talk video highly enough. Go watch it now. Really…go watch it now.)

This mime move is a metaphor for those who don’t know what they want to do with their life. Or those who are contemplating a risk, like Tammy. One foot forward. Slightly off balance. Heart out.

When you take a risk and step out like that, you will be able to see around the corner. Right now you can’t see around the corner of the unknown. But when you take a risky step forward you will be able to see things that were previously unseen. You will be able to encounter the unknown and respond with things that you do know.

Blogger and entrepreneur, Michael Hyatt, says in a post: “Leap and the net will appear.”  His point is that people with big dreams aren’t willing to take a plunge until they are absolutely certain. But that time never comes. So they never leap. “Leap,” he says, “and the resources will appear.” It’s not recklessness. It’s faith in its purest form.

It’s a scary time for us. Tammy and I don’t yet know what kind of income this will all produce. We certainly need an extra stream of money. But we are confident that when she leaps, the net will appear. And life will be better for her in numerous ways: more freedom, creative expression, less restrictive work hours, and an opportunity to take her business as far as she can or wants to.

So…if you’re looking for some really nice pillows… 😉

Although risk is scary, it produces growth. Both success and failure are an education in and of themselves.

What risk are you ready to take?

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