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Embrace the Risk

April 11, 2023

A risk is “exposure to danger, harm, or loss.” 

Alright, this is my last post from my book Inspired Every Day. (At least for a little while!)

Want to know a key reason many people are not inspired? It’s because they are bored. Somehow, someway, we have worked to remove all risk from our lives. We want our lives to be secure. To be stable. To be safe. And oftentimes, secure, stable, and safe is boring.

On a recent trip to Africa, I had the opportunity to do one of my favorite things in the world—go on a safari. Our group was amazed. We were excited to see such beautiful and powerful animals up close. As the time approached to leave and head to the airport, we finally came upon a group of adult and baby elephants. Unfortunately, we were running late, so we didn’t have time to linger. 

After pausing for a few minutes, the Jeep charged ahead a little more quickly than usual, and the elephants responded. One of them began to charge our vehicle, so our driver hit the brakes. The elephant stopped but stood ready, his blazing eyes fixed on the Jeep. As I watched the elephant poised and ready to charge my side of the vehicle, I applied a death grip to my seat. My heart raced. I held my breath. When it seemed the elephant had calmed down, we slowly drove away from the present (equally terrifying and exciting) danger.

At the risk of sounding like a spoiled brat, I have to be honest: After this type of experience, it’s hard for me to enjoy the zoo. It’s not the same as seeing an animal in its natural habitat. The element of risk creates a feeling I don’t experience at the zoo on the other side of the metal bars that stand between me and the elephants.

As I’ve reflected on this experience, it makes me ask: Have organizations done to individuals what zoos do to animals? Have the structures we put in place removed too much of who we truly are?

We take away most of the risk with the goal of creating a safer space, but in the process, we suppress our uniqueness, our individuality, and our gifts.

Too many businesses make people leave their personality at the door.
Too many offices create a culture that rewards routine over innovation.
Too many schools force their students to give up creativity to color inside the lines.
Too many colleges mandate a curriculum of checklists instead of a training ground for the real world.
Too many churches reduce the King’s monumental purpose and high calling to just attending once in a while.

Don’t sacrifice what makes you special for what makes you comfortable. Like animals in a zoo, we’ve forfeited what makes us wild and unique, and we walk willingly into a cage of predictability and security. 

Here’s my challenge to you today: Don’t give in to a pattern of stability and forfeit the future you were created to pursue. If you embrace the risk of pursuing your purpose—facing problems with like-minded partners—you’ll be inspired to do far more good for the world than you ever imagined.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to stay inspired and how to inspire others, click the link below and purchase a copy of my new book!



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