Finding Success Always Involves Taking A Risk

Living a successful life always involves risk. The great author and motivational speaker Leo Buscaglia said it perfectly. He said, “The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.”  Those are words of wisdom. To live the life we were meant to live, we often have to be willing to take a chance. We have to step out in faith, and expand our boundaries. 

Two Famous Risk Takers From Ohio

All of the great people throughout history that have made major contributions to the world took risks. They all faced the possibility of criticism and failure. Think of how different our world would be without the ability to get in a commercial airplane and fly to another city. Back in 1903 Wilbur and Orville Wright, two brothers from Dayton Ohio, invented the first airplane. When began their work to create an airplane they were taking a risk. They were visionaries. They knew their dreams of air flight had the potential to change the world. In 1903, nobody had ever seen an airplane transport anyone.

Many skeptics and “do nothing non-dreamers” must have thought these two brothers from Ohio were crazy! Regardless of the possibilities of failure and criticism, Wilbur and Orville took a risk, and the rest is history. Their invention literally changed the world. This makes me think of a quote by the late great Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs said, “The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Famous Risk Takers Throughout History

I often reflect on some of the great people throughout history that have made contributions to the world. When I do I can’t help but wonder how different life would be if they hadn’t taken a chance. Without Alexander Graham Bell’s willingness to risk facing ridicule and failure, would we have ever had the telephone?

Think of some of the technology breakthroughs that have occurred even within the last 35 years. Consider people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. The computers and smart phones used today are things we can’t even fathom living without. Yet, they would be non-existent had it not been for Bill Gates and Steve Jobs taking a chance.

How many potentially life changing ideas and inventions have yet to materialize because someone is afraid to take a risk. Anything that has ever changed anyone’s life for the better and made a difference in the world started out as a dream. Even the greatest dreams will only remain a dream unless we are willing to step out and take a risk. The author Dennis Waitley once said, “Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.” 

Personal Growth Requires Taking A Risk

Personal growth and success always involves taking a chance and taking a risk. To find love, you have to risk the possibility of rejection. To find a career, you have to apply for a job and risk being denied the position. If we see a friend or family member making a terrible mistake in their life, what should we do? Should we turn a blind eye and bite our lip refusing to give them counsel or advice? After all, our counsel could be rejected. Every potentially life changing action in our life or the lives of those around us involves taking a risk.

Sail Away From The Safe Harbor

Sometimes we have to be willing to go outside the boundaries of our comfort zone. I love what Mark Twain said about this very topic. Twain was quoted as saying, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

I love the comparison that Mark Twain made to our lives being like ships. In order to grow, be successful, and make a positive difference, we must take Twain’s advice. We must throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, and catch the trade winds in our sails. When we sail away from the shores and harbors of our comfort zones, we are indeed taking a risk. Only by taking a risk can we change our lives and the lives of those around us. Our lives are like ships. We can be bold, chase our dreams, and take a risk, or we can remain tied to the dock of our fears. Ships are safe in the harbor, but that isn’t what ships are for.


Thanks for reading!

Until next time,




Living A Successful Life Involves Risk
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One thought on “Living A Successful Life Involves Risk

  • September 1, 2014 at 9:12 am


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