I felt like going for a run this evening. It’s been a while since my last run, so I decided just to go for a short run around the block.
I’ve told myself this enough times to know that I would not stop when I reached the end of the block. It is a great motivator to get me up and out the door, though.
As I often do, when I reached a logical point to turn around and run back home, thus remaining within the definition of a “run around the block,” I simply kept on running. I was feeling good and just wanted to keep on moving forward, cooled by the early evening breeze.
After some time, I turned on a road that I had never previously run down. There was an intersection about a block up the road that looked like a good place to start heading back home. Turning at that intersection would likely lead me back home on a fairly direct path. Besides, the road was not that well-lit beyond the intersection.
But, where did it lead?
Run from Safety
Most decisions are a choice between a “safe” option and “risky” option. The outcome of the “safe” option is more predictable and the results are more assured, if not less than stellar. On the other hand, the “risky” option is full of uncertainty and there is an equal chance of the results being catastrophic as they are being amazing.
Should I quit my job and travel the world?
A steady paycheck or the potential for life-changing experiences?
Should I make that film (book, painting, etc.) I’ve always wanted to make (write, paint, etc.)?
Let Hollywood (“the pros”) handle the movie-making, or risk having your dream project turn out mediocre (or amazing)?
Should I keep doing client work, or start that new venture of my own?
Make clients happy or the potential to make yourself happy?
Running from Safety
The worst thing that can happen to me on a run is having to turn around and backtrack, as it is utterly boring to run on the same road I’ve just run on. This was the “risk” I would be taking if I kept on running straight instead of turning at the intersection. I did not know what was at the end of the road. If it turned out to be a dead end, I would have to run quite a ways back to this intersection to head back home. As I neared the intersection, it became clear:
Run from safety
The potential of discovering something new is always more rewarding than taking the “safe” path. Technically, you may have an equal chance of failing as you have of succeeding, but in reality, failure is rarely ever completely negative. In fact, you stand to learn (discover) more through failure than in success.
So what lay beyond the intersection? Another intersection (surprise!) some ways down, at the end of the road. I turned here and headed back home, happy to now know the previously unknown.