Playing it safe embracing the life of status quo, or taking risks in pursuit of change
One major and often critical roadblock that stops many of us from achieving the life that we want for ourselves and for our family is the fear to make a mistake. We have all these wants, ideas, thoughts, and dreams in our heads and think that we are ready to do whatever it takes in order to achieve everything that we want, however, as soon as things get real and it is time to actually take action which could potentially change our life forever, we freeze, we panic, we submit to fear of change and fear of making a mistake. As result, often, this fear takes over any and all of our plans and dreams that we had and causes us to delay or completely abandon anything that could potentially change our life for better or for worse. That is exactly why so many great ideas, business ventures, personal and professional goals go nowhere, or they go to the “I will revisit this later” folder in our mind. Unfortunately, as many of us have experienced this before, every thought, idea, or want that we place in “I will revisit this later” folder almost never gets retrieved and acted on. Why? Because every time we think about acting on anything that we have deferred before, we once again are faced with same fear of change and overwhelming fear to make a mistake which could negatively impact our own life and wellbeing of those that we love and care about.
Years go by, we get older, our priorities change, our circumstances change, and we no longer want or are able to pursue wants, goals, or dreams that we once had. So, we settle for the status quo and forever abandon the life that we could have had if we were not so afraid of change, taking chances, and making mistakes. The unfortunate part is that we only realize all this after opportunities and time passes us by without leaving any changes of returning.
Is this how we want to live our life, giving up on our own lifelong goals and dreams, disregarding any opportunities that may result in life-changing moments? That is not how I choose to live my life. I have procrastinated in the past, I was afraid of taking chances that could have resulted in potentially negative outcomes for me and my family, which often led me nowhere. Therefore, I have made a decision that I will no longer allow fear and uncertainty to dictate how I live my life or what decisions I make. I am choosing to take risks, explore all opportunities that come my way that that may have a potential of creating a positive life-long changes in my life. What I do not want is to look back few years from now on my life and all opportunities that were ignored and left behind due to my inaction and fear and regret not taking action sooner when I had a chance, abandoning my goals and dreams.
We as human beings are the only ones who are responsible for choices and decisions that we make throughout our life. Therefore, if you choose to follow your dreams and put fear of change and fear of failure aside, good for you. However, if you choose to keep everything in your life as is because you are completely satisfied and happy with how things are, all I can say is that I am happy for you and wish you only the best.
Being in control and getting things done using the approach that works best for us
Are you energized by having autonomy in your place of business, or do you prefer having someone finding and directing you to what you should be doing/pursuing?
I, personally, enjoy having a sense of freedom and autonomy in everything that I do. I always strive to paint my own picture of the future and choose actions and opportunities that would allow me to reach my goals and objectives in my professional and personal lives. However, every person is different, and we tend to approach problem solving and personal and professional development differently, which is absolutely ok. If you are someone who is motivated and energized by having one or more people, business leaders, setting goals and objectives on your behalf, and then having a series of regular checkpoints scheduled to check and monitor your progress against objectives set, that is ok.
Whichever approach works best for us, helping us, and motivating us to work hard towards and accomplishing goals/objectives set, that is the approach that we should embrace and use. At the end of the day, what matters is that we deliver on our goals and objectives, as long as the method that we use does not prevents us from pursuing our own personal and professional goals.
If your preference is autonomy in everything that you do, that is great. What is especially important to remember is we should find ourselves and work with a mentor what we can call on anytime we are stuck and in need of an advice on the best way to solve a particular problem or respond to a specific situation that we may be facing. Even the most confident and independent individuals sometimes need a helping hand, guidance, point of view from someone whom they trust and view as a subject matter expert in a particular topic, field, or subject. Often, we may think that we know everything and can do everything on our own, but unfortunately, that is far from reality. Therefore, if we are in need of help and guidance, or for in need for someone to simply hear us out, then we should absolutely reach out for help, setting our own personal egos aside.
Lastly, we should remember to enjoy what we do every day. Because when we do, our approaches to getting things done do not really matter. Why? Because, when we enjoy what we do, everything else will eventually be good, even if we must overcome few obstacles along the way. Be happy and simply have fun with what you do.
Risk-averse mindset blinded by the unrealistic expectations of high reward or gain
What is risk-averse mindset anyway? It is when regardless of the take we are contemplating in pursuing, the project that we are considering on taking on, or an opportunity that we are thinking about exploring, our number one goal is to make sure that level of risk involved in either endeavor is near or at zero. We do not want to take on any risk at all, and we do not feel comfortable when even the slightest element of risk is present in anything that we do or consider doing. Moreover, at the same time many of us with a risk-averse mindset also have high expectations of a big reward or gain from minimal to no risk actions that we are will in to take in pursuit of our or someone else’s goals. Now, thinking realistically, based on my personal experience, is there typically such a thing as high gain or reward with minimal to zero level of risk? In my opinion and experience, there is no such thing. What I have noticed over the years is that the level of risk that we are willing and ready to take on is usually closely correlated to the potential reward or gain that we may expect as a result. Therefore, with that in mind, I always find it interesting to listen to individuals who have grand plans for their life, their finances, career, etc., but at the same time these individuals are unwilling to try, and act on their goals and objectives in hopes of reaching them, because they are afraid of taking any risk and the fear of failing. Well, what one can expert in such situation and risk-averse mindset, with the fear of failure, is seeing things remain status quo, with zero progress being achieved towards accomplishment of their goals. The question that we should be asking ourselves here is: “How can I expect for things to change in my life when I am afraid to try and take any risks due to the overwhelming fear of potentially failing in my attempts?” This is the question that many of us choose to avoid at all costs, and instead, we choose to keep doing what we have been doing all along, without trying to change anything in our life, take risks, and do anything that could potentially get us closer to the reaching our goals and dreams that we are so ready to share anytime with everyone that we know.
One thing I know from my personal experience is that introduction of a change and calculated and carefully considered levels of risk, versus its avoidance, can bring some unexpected, surprising, and often positive changes and opportunities into our life. Over the years I have taken many calculated and analyzed risks and had welcomed many changes in to my and my family’s lives. I am not going to tell you that taking on risks and accepting changes, especially when such changes impacted someone other than me. At times it was exceedingly difficult and scary, however, I knew that if I avoid and run away from accepting changes and taking risks that come with that, I could not expect for things to change for a better for me and my family. For example, relocating from one state to another, over a thousand miles away from parents and friends, packing everything we had, and moving by car was extremely risky and difficult decisions that me and my wife had to make. We did not know what to expect, if our lifestyle and everything that we expect will become a reality or not, we did not if things will be better or worse with us relocating more than once over the years, however, we always chose to be optimistic and focused only on the positive outcome, no matter what happens. I am pleased to say that we have never regretted our decisions to relocate from state to state, when opportunity called, every time completely changing our lives, leaving status quo behind every time. No matter where we were, which state or city we made our home, we always looked for the best in every situation and were thankful for everything and everyone that was and is in our lives. Sure, sometimes things were hard, but most of the time we found the positive changes and opportunities that we were seeking at any given point in our lives. One thing I know for sure, is that I will keep on working hard, remain as determined as I have ever been, and focused on creating positive change and opportunities for me and my family, and will not stop until everything that I want and expect to accomplish in my life has been achieved.
An undeniable but often ignored force in business's downfall
Every day I have an objective and my lifelong goal of fighting mediocrity. It hurts me to see how some people do mediocre work and walk away like they have completed a task or reached an accomplishment that is worth mentioning, when action or work performed was insignificant and mediocre at best. However, when it comes to individual’s marketing and sales skills, those are displayed at their best, creating a great shiny cover for poor quality of work completed.
When mediocre work is presented to someone who can only see what is on the outside – a shiny marketing presentation – the actual work or project which was half-way completed, goes unnoticed, resulting in acceptance of mediocre work as something that everyone in the organization should see and emulate. This, in turn, creates a culture of mediocrity within the organization, because it is something that is much easier to accept for those individuals who are not willing to put in the work required to deliver top quality products and/or services. However, the dangerous side-effects of the culture of mediocrity in the organization are low quality products that are being developed/created, or the services that are being sold to the end-consumers like you and me.
As consumers, we often tend to compare one company to another, or compare similar services provided by different companies searching for the best quality product or service that we can get our hands on at the best price point possible. Therefore, we naturally tend to gravitate towards companies that deliver top quality products and/or services even if we initially must pay little more, knowing that in the long run quality product would save us time and money. The reason why we do so is, because, we would not have to search for something different or potentially better due to us already knowing and trusting that the company with which we already to business with and purchase products and/or services from does not cut corners and places the needs and expectations of their customers first before business goals and revenue expectations. As result, companies that do not engage or support the culture of mediocrity in everything that they do, tend to much better in the long run then those businesses that only see the shiny sales presentations and not focusing their attention on what is really taking place in their business, while at the same time ignoring what their customers are telling them. Such businesses do not stay afloat for too long due to continuously diminishing customer and client base, which eventually leads to the complete loss of customer/client base and revenue generated through payments received from such once happy and loyal consumer groups.
Many will give their time and money to the business that they once liked and were loyal to. However, just like with everything else in life, there comes the time when we realize that company with which we have been doing business does not place our wants and needs first, resulting in the reduction of the quality of products and services created. At that point of realization, we take our business and money somewhere else, where we know that we will receive the top-quality products and services from the business that understands its customers and values the trust that they have placed in them.
Celebrating new year, new goals, and new opportunities that are waiting for us in the new year
I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year! I hope that your life in the new year is filled with many happy and exciting moments. New year is a new opportunity to start fresh, start over, pursue our dreams and aspirations that we've always wanted to pursue, however, we kept on putting them in the "I'll do this tomorrow, or do this later" folder in our mind that we never end up accessing during the year. So, this is your opportunity to dust off old goals or to create new, and give your 100% of time and energy to work towards achieving goals set. It may be challenging, frustrating, and seem impossible at times, however, with strong determination, persistence, and hard work, we can overcome any challenges on our path. Never give up, keep on going, have fun achieving great things, and share your success and happy moments with those around you.
I hope that in the New Year 2021, all of your wishes come true, and every day of the year is filled with positivity and happy moments!
Happy New Year of 2021!