Bird Droppings December 31, 2010
How more appropriate to end the year than to look at the idea of risk and what lies ahead. Risk is a driving force of who we are and why we are and what we do. How we take chances and avoid risk are defining pieces of our personality.
“Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.” Lou Holtz
I think you could possibly argue numbers but Coach Holtz has a good point. Life is a combination of pieces sort of a tossed salad of sorts thrown together and the end result is what we live with. One thing however that Coach Holtz left out is what makes you respond the way you do. Probably being a football coach and one dimensional limited his views on such things but a whole other realm of ideas could be spent on that concept.
“In my own experience, the period of greatest gain in knowledge and experience is the most difficult period in one’s life. …Through a difficult period, you can learn, you can develop inner strength, determination, and courage to face the problem.” Dalai Lama
We learn as we walk through life by experience how to respond to a given stimulus. We learn how to choose from choices presented. I often use the example of crossing a stream stepping rock to rock, as you step each time you see the stones, some are slick or wet, others covered in moss and slippery when you step on them. You learn to avoid certain situations in order to not fall in the stream. However it may be a warm day and the fall is worth it since a cool dip may be worth the risk of a shorter journey across the stream.
As I sit writing I recall a term from many years ago in my days working in industry, Risk Management. In Risk Management Training an acronym has been used for many years in industry and it could apply in life, the four T’s.
1. Terminate the risk – Do not do it, avoid it, eliminate the risk, you do not need to cross the stream
2. Tolerate the risk – In crossing the stream there is a chance you may get wet you are willing to risk it
3. Treat the risk – Build a bridge across the stream and a mighty storm may wash it away but in one hundred years there have not been any storms recently
4. Transfer the risk – Let someone else cross for you or buy stream crossing insurance A paraphrase of Frank E Bird Jr., Loss Control Management
But unless you actually are involved you may never really know which way to go in terms of which T you will pick.
“Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” Warren Buffett
Life is about experience and the roads we take it is ours to choose and to make a mistake or succeed with.
“It is not the critic who counts. Not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause. Who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt
Take the day by the horns as the cowboys among would say and try to do your best, carpe diem, and stride across the stream believe it is summer and you will not succumb to hypothermia if you do fall in and as always especially in these days of increasing violence in the middle east keep all in harms way on your mind and in your heart.