“You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again… so why bother in the first place? Just this: what is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer but one has seen. There is an art to conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.” ~Rene Daumal …
Taking risks is something we must do, simply because not doing so will leave us forever empty of all that comes from success–wisdom, achievement, joy, knowledge, growth, understanding, and on and on. Sure, I might fail, and that failure could leave me right back were I started. But how else am I ever going to know what it looks like up high?
Perhaps you start a business, and it fails. You may end up without that business, and perhaps even in debt, but you will never know the taste of success at all if you had never tried. And not having that taste–not understanding what it takes to succeed, and what success feels like–will diminish our desire to grow or to pursue success at other times in our life. As Rene points out, the memory of previous success is often the very thing that drives us to take other risks in life, and thus what helps us to grow, learn, and succeed.
Our lives can be much richer if we simply make the effort to take smart and calculated risks from time to time. We all need to know what success feels like–we need to know our potentials, we need to be aware of the possibilities and limitations in our lives. Having this knowledge gives us the ability to live the “lower regions” of our lives with confidence and direction, fully understanding all the goodness that we have available to us.
Take a moment to reflect upon all the positive that has been added to your life from your previous successes.
Questions to consider:
What are some risks you have taken recently? What affect have they had?
What are some things you still remember from some of your achievements?
Why are we taught that being “on top” is the pinnacle of life?
For further thought:
“Take risks in your life… if you win, you can lead. If you lose, you can guide.” ~Swami Vivekananda