Increase Your Odds by Taking Risks

[First posted in February 2020]
On Saturday, my son made two three-point shots back to back at his basketball game. I was so proud of him—not necessarily because he made the shots, but because he TOOK them.

Taking those far away shots is out of character for him. He loves basketball—likes to play it any chance that he can get. And when he plays for fun with his friends, he is a different kind of player. In THAT scenario (unlike in live, actual games), he is comfortable taking shots and risks.

We told him last weekend that the more he shoots, the more comfortable he will be doing it. His answer was “but what if I miss?”

Our answer was: “you will . . .and that is okay.”

We also told him that he would MAKE shots too, reminding him that it is “a numbers game. The more baskets you take, the more you will make.”

My husband often jokes, “Why can’t I just win the lottery?”

His punch line: “I guess because I never play.”

In simple terms, YOU HAVE TO PLAY TO WIN.

I recently listened to an old interview of Kobe Byrant (still makes me sad) who was asked what he had learned from his mentoring talks with Oprah Winfrey, Tim Cook CEO of Apple, and Mark Parker, CEO of Nike.

He response: “I was surprised by the amount of mistakes they said they made.” As he clarified, “We all make mistakes. We all make decisions. And you continue to plow forward. You continue to figure it out.”

That is the great thing about taking risks, you LEARN from them. You get better with each new action, each new attempt. It is when we reach outside of our comfort zone that the biggest payoffs happen. Maybe not at first. But, every venture taken begins with a first step.

So, as you begin your week, think about your goals and how you will take the risks needed to make them happen.

“. . . Man reaches, stumbles forward, painfully, mistakenly sometimes. Having stepped forward, he may slip back, but only half a step, never the full step back.”
– John Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath

[Every Monday, a new ‘habit’ will be posted as part of my Bright Light Living Healthy Habits series. These ‘Healthy Habits’ encompass habits for the mind, body, spirit, and one’s perspective of life—in order to LIVE BRIGHT.  You may wish to implement the habits each week (if so, I encourage you to download the Healthy Habits Assessment form). Or, the week’s habit can simply serve as a journal prompt or something to ponder.  It’s up to you. I do hope you will check in each week.]

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