The grave danger of being safe…

Ever have someone tell you, “Play it safe,” when you were going to take on a new challenge, or perhaps attack an age old problem in a totally new manner? Then, after some careful thought (fear mongering in your head), you decide to not go through with your BOLD plan. As a result, you learned nothing new. You did not surprise yourself with the result. You ended up just like everyone else did. Congratulations.

What does that even mean, “play it safe?” I will tell you what it means, “Don’t try to be a hero and go against the crowd – just do what everyone else does and you will be ok.” The question you should be asking is, “Would you be happy to be like everyone else?” If so, great – you do not have to cover any new ground. All you have to do is follow the tried and true steps of those before you. End of story.

However, if you desire to have a different path, I have a little secret that I would like to share with you, “To achieve greatness, you must be a risk taker.” None more so than in the fight business. Every match you enter is full of risk. There is a myriad of ways that you can lose a fight, just as there are to win one. Every move you make is a risk – throwing a punch at a certain time can open you up to a counter strike, a take down or even a submission.

So how do you get the courage to attempt a BOLD plan? Well, most people get their authority to go for something through…the actions of the majority. There is a great comfort in knowing that tens, hundreds, thousands or even millions of people have done what you are about to do. That comfort is called “safety” – the feeling of assurance that comes with knowing what to expect.

Safety is attained through repeated succession. Most people are not afraid of walking, talking, eating or going to the bathroom (although there are quite a few that are!). Why? Because they have had the benefit of experience. However, the first time someone swims, a great deal of risk is felt. What if I can’t stay afloat? How does the water feel? I am going to get too cold? What if I drown? Thoughts like those race through your mind if you have never been in water before. Imagine if you were all alone, never having heard of swimming before, how would you feel about entering a body of water? Truly picture it for a moment, really soak that feeling in. What is that feeling? Fear.

If you are human, you know all to well about fear. It is our key motivation in life. In fact, it is our best motivation. For every risk you think about engaging in, fear is there to steer you clear of it. Think about any opportunity you have ever considered taking? Was fear a factor? You bet. People fear getting hurt, going broke, being alone, losing a loved one and the list continues towards infinity. Fear keeps you from making the winning move in a game, leaves you alone on a Friday night, and traps you in a job that you desperately want out of.

If fear is so bad, why do we have it? Simple, fear keeps you alive. If you stay fearful, you will only do what you feel is safe, which are things that people have done enough times to develop confidence in the lack of mortal danger associated with it. Going back to the swimming example, if you had the courage to make the plunge in the water and survived, after a while, you would lose the fear of water. You may even come to like the water. When you join with other people, you would share your love of water with them, tell them how wonderful it is, how water is abundant with food, and how it can replenish your body. These people at first may be skeptical of your bold claims, but if you are charismatic enough, or prove it to them by example, they too may partake in water. Soon, a whole society will join in with you and benefit from the greatness of water.

In the above example, one person was able to conquer the fears of many. Those after the first swimmer experienced a level of comfort greater than the pioneer. It was much easier, they were able to see that he was able to swim without harm. The pioneer had similar physical attributes, so he was the proof of concept. The risk seemed very small to the would be swimmers.

But what motivated the first swimmer to take action? How can you learn to use his power? Find out tomorrow!



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