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Day 146: Calculated Risks

“You only get one chance. You have one journey through life; you cannot repeat even one moment or retrace one footstep. It seems that we are meant to inhabit and live everything that comes towards us.” John O’Donahue

I have been struggling lately, confronted by the reality of an opportunity that I have been waiting for and dreaming about, yet still feel unprepared to carry out. I have known these moments before, where the dare to capture your dreams is at your fingertips. Life offers these great moments a few times in a lifetime that people who heard the call remember as defining life events. Many people expect a drum roll, and don’t realize that the sign of these moments usually is felt in your heartbeat. Many people miss the opportunities of a lifetime, either for lack of attention or lack of courage. 

You have to move into these times knowing that every decision you make carries a level of calculated risk and accepting that you never have enough information to be sure of how all the pieces fit together. The learning curve is steep and requires you to let go of the footing you have known.

My twelve-year-old daughter has been witnessing the struggle and the bumps and bruises I have been accumulating of late. She collects quotes as I do and shared this one with me today: “If you think life is hard, what are you comparing it to? ” She reminded me of how my perception of hard just a few weeks ago was in the fear of having to see a hematologist. She reminded me of the real losses of parents and friends we both knew. Thanks to Emma, I remembered again, how few problems there really are and that I can think about this life transition as a struggle or an adventure.

The truth is that the outcome, even in the most mundane of circumstances in never assured. This is the adventure. You throw your hat in the ring, you give it your best shot and life comes up to meet you and sometimes knocks you over with its force. This is why Buckminster Fuller once said “Dare to be naïve…” You have to go out there believing in and striving towards the best possible outcome and be ready to work with what happens.

If 21 weeks of this Positivity Quest has taught me anything, it is that choosing how to think about your life circumstances is everything. Walking through a dark room, arms outstretched, feeling for the door can be stressful or exhilarating. It is how you think about it. From this perspective, the victory is in each moment and whether you are awake to it. Helen Keller said, “Life is either a grand adventure or nothing …” I choose the adventure, bumps and bruises included.