How I Know I’m Not Screwing Up My Life

I am a decisive person. When I decide I want to take a risk, I lay everything on the line to make it. And sometimes taking this risk comes at great cost to me: my comfort, my routine, proximity to people I love very much. But I have this wild faith that the risks I choose to take are calculated, risky enough to make me grow but not so risky I’m unable to live the life I dreamed.

But as a risk-taker, those choices are often clouded with doubts that can bar me from fully realizing that I did do the right thing, even if it was hard. Its easy to see what I’ve robbed myself of, and not understand what I’m giving myself. And then, I come across ideas from great minds like this, and everything is validated:

“Either we risk or we don’t. Either we change or we don’t. There’s no acceptable middle ground because it lulls us into complacency. Lasting changes rarely occur when we ease our way into the future. They come when we leap. The leaps themselves can be small or large. Once we take action, we see things differently and for many of us there’s no going back.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

With the benefit of retrospect, I can see how I made series of small leaps that led me to make bigger ones. I can see the things I did that changed my perspective enough that there was nowhere to go but forward. Going back to what I had been would have been trite and uninspired. And as those leaps lengthened, the reward has been commensurate to the risk. It doesn’t mean I haven’t gambled and lost; I definitely have. But the return has been greater than the loss in every instance of taking that chance, and so I’ll continue to optimistically believe that these losses will only be surpassed by even greater gains. Its one of life’s funny paradoxes: The more you’re willing to lose, the more you gain.

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