Sunday, September 6, 2015

Risks MUST be taken

"To laugh is to Risk appearing a fool.
To cry is to Risk appearing sentimental.
To be different is to Risk ridicule.
To reach out to another is to Risk involvement.
To love is to Risk not being loved in return.
To go forward in the face of overwhelming odds is to Risk failure.
But Risks MUST be taken!...because the greatest Risk in life is to Risk Nothing;
The person who Risks nothing... does nothing, has nothing, is nothing!
Oh, that person may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they do not learn, love, live, or grow.
Chained by their own certitudes... they are slaves.
Only the person who takes Risks is FREE!"

 ~  Duane Barney  ~

This was given to me in such a rare way in my young twenties.  I was working as a new kid in the world of public speaking and I had the privilege to travel and work with Mr Barney for a number of years.  I use to listen to him quote this poem as he would challenge, lead, and inspire an audience to change.  As it was repeated in his speeches and talks around the world, these borrowed words eventually became my own words, and now act as one my life anchors.  His poem has always stuck with me!
It's interesting how we all reach into our collection of thoughts and values that act as anchors in our lives when the winds and waves of change come crashing over us.  Anchors are the pieces that hold it all together in the storms that come along.  When everything in life seems to be in complete shambles, the few things that DO make sense to us, and will ALWAYS resonate within our hearts and minds...Those are anchors!
I do take risks!  I wish to be "in the ring", swinging and taking punches!  Sometimes it works out and the risk was worth it, and other times I may not obtain the results I had hoped for...
There is such a lesson to be explored when you think about the way we handle life when things may not "work out" the way we hoped for.

All "stepping stones" though :)

Today, I am grateful for the words of my friend Duane Barney... Risks MUST be taken!

Stepping Stones...

One of my best friends in the whole world (Kenneth Forrest) repeats often that "everything is a stepping stone!"  One stone leads to the next.  Without anyone of these stones (people, circumstances, opportunities, projects, even tragedies, etc..) along the way, you would have drown.  It's interesting to look at life like that... That nothing happens "to" us...but only happens "for" us.  Wow!  What a different way of looking at things!  If nothing happens "to" us, but only "for" us...then truly,.. the ONLY emotion left to feel and experience, is GRATITUDE!  That each step was necessary, to get us to where we are today.

-  The traffic ticket I received may have been "for" me to avoid the fatal crash that could have happened further down the road.  Yes it tied me up for a bit, but it also saved my life had it not happened.  Too extreme?  I guess that's up to you and how you look at things.

-  Children grow up and move away, and parent(s) might be left lonely.  Oh how rich and amazing your life has been as you've watched the miracle of raising children over the years...Yet when they leave, how it opens up the space in your life for other wonderful things to rush in to enhance and enrich your life even more.

"When you change the way you look at things, the things that you look at...CHANGE"
~  Wayne Dyer

How hard it might be though, to see a painful situation and think that it happened "for" us in anyway... (abuse, neglect, freedoms and choices being taken away from us without our consent or control)... I admit that there are many circumstances that others have had to face that I personally never have faced at all.  One might say "that it sounds great in theory Matt, but you haven't gone through what I have, so you don't know." That is very true... However here is what I DO know.  How we choose to handle life's challenges IS entirely up to each and every one of us.
-  A woman who is abused (no I've never personally experienced this) that eventually decides she is going to start a battered women's shelter to help others that have experienced such a horror... I would say that she is not choosing the victim mentality, but a stepping stone mentality.
-  My dear friend who lost her very young son in a tragic accident that started a foundation to help other parents that have been hit with similar situations.   These parents now have their children in the hospital, fighting for their children's lives, yet they can not afford the medical bills that are continuing to mount up higher and higher.  She has taken what has happen in her life as a stepping stone, and created something that brings light and hope to others.  

How we choose to respond is ALWAYS up to us!  

Its hard to sometimes practice this mentality of gratitude for the things that life brings us... Certainly one of those philosophies that seems to resonate as we're discussing it logically on a blog, but when the winds of life blow us over, can we keep it in mind and practice it when we need to the most?  Repetition is the mother of all skill.  When we lose sight of this way of thinking from time to time,  there's nothing wrong with reminders along the way... Recommitting and starting fresh with renewed and refreshed perspective.  

Stepping Stones... Nothing happens TO us, but only FOR us.
Try it on...take it for a might like it! :)


Check Out Our Music