New opportunities – how scary and exhilarating they can be! The tricky thing with opportunity is that they also come with risk. The right risk might stop you in your tracks, but do you really want your fear of risk to stop you from accessing all of the opportunities that come into your life?
Right now, I’m getting ready for a major change. My husband starts a new job in March, and it requires us to relocate. The new position is a great fit for him, while also being an excellent opportunity to push himself outside of his comfort zone to learn new skills. But my gracious did we have many intense conversations and sleepless nights while we considered the job offer.
While the job was a great opportunity, it also requires us to leave a community we have been a part of for over 10 years and relocate to an area where we know no one. If we moved, we would have to seek out a new community of friends, we would be farther away from family, my husband would be challenged with greater job responsibility, and we would be leaving our favorite local butcher.
It was a major opportunity, with lots of possibility and also lots of risk. As we considered our options, I used the Right Risk model my colleague Bill Treasurer wrote about in his book Right Risk: 10 Powerful Principles for Taking Giant Leaps with Your Life
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be talking about each of the 10 principles here, so be sure to come back for those, but right now, I want to explain what I mean by a Right Risk.
Four hallmarks Of A Right Risk
- Passion – Right Risks are risks that have great meaning for us and that we care about deeply. Sometimes a Right Risk will make you suffer because it is something that matters so much. That high degree of caring and suffering stirs up our passion and gives us the energy we need to get through the Right Risk.
- Purpose – A Right Risk is taken out of a deep sense of purpose. That purpose focuses our passion and provides direction. Right Risks have meaning and represent something more than just ego gratification. Right Risk-takers ask, “How will this risk make me a more complete person?” and “How will this risk further my life’s purpose?
- Principle – Right Risks are framed by principles. Risks are essentially decisions, and when facing a decision of great consequence, principles form a criteria against which the risk can be considered. These principles might include: truth, independence, compassion, and responsibility.
- Prerogative – Right Risk-taking involves the action of choice. By making conscious choices that are aligned with purpose and principle, Right Risk-takers are making active choices that move them towards desired goals.
As my husband and I weighed the pros and cons, considered the risk of going, and the risk of not going – we arrived at our decision to accept the new position and move the comfort of these safe harbors. We know we are setting out on an adventure together. After all, don’t most great stories begin with a quest?
Now that I’ve introduced the concept of a Right Risk, remember to check back in to learn about the 10 Principles of Right Risk-taking.