On my recent family vacation to Vail/Beaver Creek Colorado I explored a new activity: downhill mountain biking. I figured I would enjoy it, but I felt that I would probably try it once and then spend the rest of my mornings trout fishing.
Well, much to my surprise I got hooked, and not by the fly rod! I was hooked on the adrenalin rush of racing down single track mountain bike trials that would switch back enough times to make you dizzy!
Similar to snow skiing, the trails were marked from easiest to hardest by Green, Blue, Black Diamond and Double Black Diamond. A gondola takes you and your bike to the top of the ski mountain and then you’re off! Of course I started on the green; well, at least for the first 1/4 of the initial run and then quickly found a blue to test my new found skill (or lack thereof).
What I found was a strong correspondence between maximizing the thrill of the downhill mountain bike and maximizing your life experience. The only way to reach the levels of success you are capable of is to have the same attitude that it takes to put fear behind you and push down the mountain.
In order to maximize the rush on the bike and capture the adrenaline of the mountain you must be willing to push past the point of retaining full control. As I told my wife, you have to be just a little out of control. In pursuit of success you must be willing to push past the point where you feel completely in control. If you are not willing to move beyond your comfort level you will never obtain the levels of success possible.
While pushing past the point of complete control you must be very careful to not become so out of control that you could do a great deal of harm to yourself. Even in taking risks our decisions should not become reckless. I encounter individuals that pride themselves in taking risk, however they do so with reckless abandon and when they “miss a turn” they experience devastating loses financially and emotionally.
Playing it too safe while riding down a mountain is a sure way to accomplish one of two things: wreck or have a miserable time during the experience. Because the terrain is extremely rocky and rough, going too slow will cause your wheels to get hung up on the rocks and you will either fall or go over your handle bars. Life is much the same in that when we play it too safe we are never able to gain the momentum needed to overcome the rocks and obstacles in our path. Living in safe mode keeps us from experiencing the exciting things in life. We become plagued by the “should of, could of, would of’s”, constantly questioning ourselves and living with regrets.
What attitude do you have towards life and your success? Are you playing it safe? Hoping to just hold on and get through another day? Are you taking risks without analyzing the outcome of what may happen if you wreck? Is your risk so great that it could cause devastating losses? I hope you are just a little beyond your comfort level, living life with enough speed to roll over the bumps and rocks that come your way. I hope you are taking enough risk so you can accomplish all that you are capable of while still maintaining just enough control so that a “wreck” will not mean devastating loss. Use these tips to take on the adrenaline rush with a smile on your face and results that you can be proud of!
Which category do you fall into: the reckless risk taker or the play it safe drifter? What have been your experiences with these two lifestyles? Click here to leave a reply.