"If you don't risk anything,
you risk even more."
There on the table in front of you sits a telephone. If you pick it up and make a
seemingly routine phone call, your entire life will change. You're given foreknowledge
that this is the case... But, this is all the information you are given. Will it change
for the good? Will it be for the worse? A year from now, will you be always grateful
you made that call? Or will it be the one real regret of your life?
Copyright © January 2004 Lora Ruffner and Low Carb Luxury
So, what are you going to do?
It's all about risk taking. What's behind Door #3?
There are those who will say that we'll all opt to make that call if we are in an unhappy
enough position in our lives. If we feel we have little to lose. And there's validity
in that. But that's the easy answer... of course escape from a bad situation demands a
But let's not make it that easy. Let's say your life is going just fine... perhaps not
gloriously perfect, but your day-to-day life is not too bad. Is it a little harder to
make the decision? Has it suddenly become a game of blackjack? When do you stand pat?
And when do you take a risk?
In looking back over my life, it's clearly true that the biggest changes — the ones that
propelled me forward — came from a chain-of-events result. You just never know when a
seemingly routine action will net a life-changing result. In fact, if I look at the people
in my world at this moment... the ones that are dearest to me in life — they are here
because of two tiny little decisions I made.
One was a decision on which restaurant to visit on a given evening over a year ago. On
that night, by chance, I happened to get Aaron as my waiter, and happened to meet the
manager, Adrian, that evening. Both now work for this magazine and are two of my best
The other was a phone call about having my property landscaped nearly two years ago. That
landscaper was Neil, now the photographer for this magazine and one of the dearest people
in my life... and through him, other wonderful people have come to my world.
What would my life be like, had I not gone to that restaurant? Had I called a different
landscaping firm? We can't know, as my life has taken these branches. Those decisions
didn't involve risk, because they happened without foresight of the changes they would
bring with them. But what if I had known... not what would happen, but just that making
the decisions would mean a change in my life's direction? Would I have made the calls?
This is something I've thought about quite thoroughly. And in the end, I believe I would
have followed through... I would have taken the risks. Not because my life was bad... it
wasn't. In fact, had you asked me then, I'd have said my life was pretty good. I had a
nice home, a good career, food on the table. I lived an "easy" existence. It's only in
looking back that I see it lacked joy, passion, fun, challenge.
Racecar driver Mario Andretti said that if life seems under your control, you're just not going
fast enough. I think he may be right. For it's only in risk-taking — in allowing some
of that total control of your fate to leave your care — that one can actually feel life.
Our world's great treasures, great knowledge, and great successes, were brought to life
by dreamers, by risk-takers. By those that were never content to play it safe. There
comes a time in each of our lives when we have to ask ourselves if we wish to leap... if
we wish to put all our chips on Red 32.
I am at such a crossroads in my life, once again... I am choosing to make the leap...
white knuckled and shaking like a leaf, but making the leap, nonetheless. In the next
few months, as I leave the career I've been secure in, find my path of self-reliance,
and become a single woman once again, I look not to what I am leaving, but to where I
am going. Because as Helen Keller said, "...avoiding danger is no safer in the long
run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."
There's the phone. Will you be making that call?
Title photo Copyright © 2004 Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury