On the first Monday of each month when my children were in high school, I wrote a letter to them describing a secret of success in life. Recently I compiled a year’s worth of secrets into a small book. Secrets of Success is a great gift for graduates. To give you a glimpse, I posted Secret #9 here.
Truly successful people are willing to take risks, step out of their comfort zones, and take chances in hopes of accomplishing something really good. But they are also prudent (reasonable), being careful in the risks they take.
1. Try new things.
Maybe you are content to stick with the comfortable and familiar, and to stay safe. You don’t want to take chances, mainly because you fear you might fail. There is a famous saying: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” As you are willing to take that scary step, or try something that is new or hard for you, you will often succeed. And as you do, you will find satisfaction in doing something beyond yourself and you will grow. The Bible encourages you to be bold (Proverbs 28:1) and it assures you that you cannot even imagine all that God has in store for you as you walk courageously with Him (I Corinthians 2:9).
2. Don’t be foolish.
Before you take risks, you need to pray, plan and consider. You need to count the cost of that decision. How great is the risk? What is the likelihood of success? How great are the consequences of failure? Is it worth it? Jesus tells you that you should plan wisely before you move ahead (Luke 14:28-33). According to the Bible, a person who is reckless – doing things without thinking them through first – is a fool (Proverbs 14:16). But when you have thoughtfully determined that the risk is wise and worth it, then you go for it.
3. Learn and grow.
Taking risks brings results—some good, some bad. You need to learn from both your successes and failures, to grow in wisdom, and to make even better decisions the next time. Determine to be a life-long learner, never assuming that you know everything, or even that you know enough. Continuing to learn keeps you growing as a person. Proverbs says that if you are wise, you will listen and add to your learning (Proverbs 1:5).
So take a risk! My prayer is that you will consider the cost carefully, pray and plan, and then step out and go for it!
c 2011 Judy Douglass