How Much Risk Can You Tolerate?

Are you ready to dive into the new year and make 2011 a wild ride of change and expansion? Or, are you looking for small steps you can safely take to carefully move you toward your goals? Perhaps you’re some place in between these two positions.

I’ve been playing with what the role of risk is in living my life to the fullest ever since I stumbled upon a powerful quote from Paul Newman in the December 26th, 2010 issue of Parade Magazine. While talking about creating a sequel to the movie Cars (in which the late Newman played a key role), Owen Wilson shared something Newman had said to him while they were talking about fast cars. Newman said, “If you have to worry about the risk, you’re dead already.” [p.2, Parade, December 26, 2010]

Owen Wilson went on to state that he felt perfectly content to be driving his Prius. I can envision many ways of interpreting what Newman said; however, what jumped out at me was the notion of allowing worry about risk (or anything else for that matter) to keep me from being fully present in my life.

bigstock_Btcc_Bmw_S_Racing_3853380If you take it literally, Newman is saying that racing or driving fast requires you to be fully engaged and present. You’ve already accepted and even embraced the risks. That’s required in order to make the rapid decisions necessary to stay alive. And, I imagine, it’s that vital aliveness that being fully present brings that makes it such a thrill.

What level of risk are you willing to accept and embrace for 2011? Using a car as a metaphor for how you desire to approach going after your dreams in 2011, what kind of car would you be driving toward your big dreams? What level of risk would you be willing to tolerate? Most importantly, what amount of risk will fully engage you and bring you present each day of 2011 without putting you over the edge into constant worry about what will happen?

I see myself as a moderate risk-taker who likes her comfort, so I’d put myself in a BMW. Probably not the 328i convertable I owned ten years ago, but something in the 520 series that enabled me to drive fast around the curves of the year in relative security. What about you?

If you’re willing to ramp up your energy to leap forward in 2011, consider joining me for the next Aha! Coaching Circle (10-week group coaching program).

Photo courtesy of BigStockPhoto: Motorbase BMW driven by COLLARD races with the BMW of Matt JACKSON at the last 2008 round of the BTCC British Touring Car Championship at Brnads Hatch.

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