My longtime pal Rose once described me and my best man Andrew in a manner that showed we have opposite personality traits. She said Andrew is the kind of guy who sees a huge fire ahead of him and the heat convinces him that he will be burnt if he moves any closer. For me I will prove the fire is hot after being burnt and getting a scar

As much as that narration may depict Andrew and me as being on opposite ends of the risk spectrum, Daskal believes that risks are worth taking. Having been in business all my life, I have always taken what I thought to be calculated risks. Thankfully, many of those business decisions turned out to be positive. With time they became kawaida yet to some folks I appeared to have a huge appetite for risk.

I got a shocker in my 40s. As a result of my confusion and business performing poorly at the same time, I ended up being extremely risk averse. I went into safe mode which is a feature I have never activated on the gadget that is my life. Self-preservation was the goal. I longed to clear all my debts and end my slavery to lenders. I’m now slowly getting out of that mode and back to risk-taking but with a slight difference. I call it sure-thing-taking instead. That is because the second half is about destiny and calling. There is no experimenting once you have been through halftime. A second half of significance can only be achieved once we know the reason why we are still occupying space on this earth.

But to get to sure-thing-taking, we have to take chances or even a different version of the same chance. In halftime we call that low cost probes, where we explore various interests and see where they teke us. Daskal says, “You cannot protect yourself from failure without also protecting yourself from happiness.”

Another powerful way to turn your life around is to acknowledge that discomfort is okay.  In my forties, I have often slept on the lap of discomfort . Maybe that is why I have spent many nights awake trying to figure out where my life is headed. It has not all been in vain as some of the light bulbs came on in the wee hours of the night. I’m told that 3 AM is the best hour to get through to Sir God. The lines tend to be clear and calls hardly drop at that hour. Discomfort has led me to search for my true north without relenting. My comfort zone of business even had thorns and I quickly realized nothing good grows there. We can safely say that discomfort is a light that comes on in your life dashboard to indicate you need to check yourself and make some adjustments. If we keep driving ignoring the light, then something will give sooner or later. The ensuing repairs will also cost you much more and keep you grounded longer than if you fixed the issue when the light came on immediately.

Success without difficulty is a fallacy but there could be rare exceptions. The difficulties I have encountered in my forties so far are finally beginning to yield some fruit. I probably have encountered the most personal growth over the last five years compared to the last 20 years pre-40. Let’s embrace discomfort as that is almost always the route to success and significance.

Safety is an illusion. Daskal says that, “The false seduction of safety is always more dangerous than the alternative.” Today’s third and second points could pass for two sides of the same coin. This is because discomfort frequently occurs in the absence of safety. When my business started performing poorly five years ago, I was petrified because the financial rug I relied on for many years had been pulled from under my feet. As I look back now, if I became like the badger in the animation Ice Age that refused to leave its hole when all the animals were migrating, I dread imagining what state I would be in today. The badger would shout stubbornly to the other animals, “I was born in this hole. I will die in this hole.” That was me at some point when all I could see was my survival being dependent on my business only.

The minute we stop holding on to safety as our life line, we start learning how to swim and slowly realize there are parts in the water that are shallow enough to walk on. We might be clutching onto a floater that blinds us from seeing we are almost on the beach of discovery and new opportunities. Let go of the floater folks. Ponder some risk taking during this Easter season. Enjoy the break.

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