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Courage by the Numbers

The always-intriguing Sun magazine has a back page called Sunbeams made up of quotes on an unnamed theme.   A page I long ago pulled out and stashed away for future stumblings-across offers bits of wisdom on courage.

Here is one of the page's gems:

"People who don't take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.  People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year."    Peter Drucker

Doesn't that make you smile?  Make you want to go out singing in the downpour? Or call someone you're scared to call? 

My second reaction to the quote after the smile and surge of daring: did I make two big mistakes last year?  what counts as big?  what counts as a mistake?  have I already used up my two for this year? 

Sometimes it takes a long time for a decision to show itself as having been a mistake.

Perhaps Drucker's numbers are not so much precise as they are a way of making a point: no-risk is just as risky as having more fun and adventures.

So how does this affect the rest of what I do today?

(I pause and think.)

Okay, this may seem extremely small, but here's my risk: I'm going to pick one thing and do it, thus risking that all the other things I might have chosen to do were not the thing I should have done first, the thing that, had I only known it, was crucial and would have made all the difference.

The alternative to committing to one action is darting from task to task and never quite lighting on one or finishing it (plus wasting energy with background fretting over which one? which one?)

Is it just me or is it obsessive in here?






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Categories: 2013

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  • BoBraxton
    February 27, 2013 at 7:46 am Reply

    my personal metaphor is wielding a wood axe to split a firewood block (very focused, necessarily so). Yesterday's one for me was sitting to talk with the U.S. Poet Laureate and one other male, two other females – 2:00pm for three-quarters of an hour! Wow.

    • February 27, 2013 at 10:24 am Reply

      Impressive. How did you get the audience with the PL?

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