The greatest risk in life, is not taking any risks. Life is too short to spend it cautiously; this is not in any way a call to reckless living, but a call to taking positive risks. We are a product of people who take and took risks in their lives.
The Wright Brothers had to risk their lives, and time in order for all of us to fly, Colonel Harland Sanders had to risk his cooking reputation in order for his KFC brand to see the light of day, Marconi had to risk ridicule in order for us to have the radio today. One attribute of great people is their ability to forgo comfort and parade themselves in the discomfort zone until they achieve what they want. “I’ve felt that dissatisfaction is the basis of progress. When we become satisfied in business, we become obsolete.” (J. Willard Marriott). Great people never stop shouting until they get results. A number of people are comfortable with not taking action for fear of failing. This life is too short to spend it playing small. Make things happen in life by taking action. This sometimes calls for us to take risks in life.
There is a story that is often told about a visually impaired man who received his sight after his encounter with Jesus. The story is aptly captured in Mark 10:46 as follows, “Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! “Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me! “So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.” And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.”
Those who have done some basic theology or general reading will recall that Mark is usually called the “Book of action” because in a few verses and chapters a lot is happening. What excites me most is not the final product but the process leading to the result. Beneficial life lessons can be drawn from Bartimaeus’s story;
He knew he had challenge
It is not a sign of weakness to know your area of challenge. You can never deal with anything that you deny in life. Identify what you are going through, is it a financial crisis, marital problem, viability challenge, marketing problem and so on. When you know the area that you have challenges, it is easy to identify the people who can assist you. The interesting thing about the gentlemen in the story is that he did not even have a name. “Bartimaeus” was not a name; it simply meant “Son of Timaeus”. We inherit backgrounds, challenges and so on, but the good news in life is that we can turn around our circumstances by taking a conscious decision to confront our challenges. What are you going through now?
He took advantage of what he had
Despite being blind he realised that he had an asset, his voice. He knew he could shout on top of his voice. Instead of looking at what you do not have, take advantage of what you have in order for you to get to where you want to be. Some of us are gifted in music, some are good at giving strategies, and some people are gifted in athletics. Use what you have. Physical disability is never a measure of what you can’t do; it simply gives you an opportunity to amaze yourself and all those who doubt you.
He realised an opportunity
You are a product of how you treat and treated the opportunities that come your way. Some people saw opportunities as problems and not as opportunities wrapped in problems. Dr. Stephen R. Covey once noted that, “Effective people are not problem-minded; they’re opportunity-minded. They feed opportunities and starve problems.” The gentlemen in the story heard that Jesus was passing and decided to take action. Sometimes your breakthrough in life is a handshake away from you.
Do not be afraid to approach certain people with business ideas; do not be afraid to send your business proposal to that corporate. You can attract opportunities by simply showing that you have confidence. Never miss an opportunity, sometimes that opportunity might not appear again in your life. Be quick to identify opportunities and take advantage of them. Bartimaeus heard the news and called out for help.
He did not allow the discouragers to discourage him
There will always be people who will discourage you on whatever course of action you take despite the fact that they have nothing to lose and you have everything to gain from it. Mark Twain once made an interesting observation; “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambition. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” There are people who are prepared to discourage you from working hard as if they are going to pay you for the time you will be idle, there are people who will discourage you from your studies as if they will give you an honorary degree for that. The cases are too many, but do not take in counsel that does not take you anywhere. Put your mind to whatever you want to achieve and go for it that is what great people do.
He was not afraid to take a risk
There was a massive crowd that was passing by and Jesus was surrounded, but he nevertheless took the risk. Maxwell Maltz noted that, “Often the difference between a successful man and a failure is not one’s better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on his ideas, to take a calculated risk and to act.” Bartimaeus was not afraid to fail and his confidence yielded dividends. That risk you always fear might be containing that breakthrough you are always looking for. Do not be afraid to take positive risks. “Losers visualise the penalties of failure. Winners visualise the rewards of success.” (Rob Gilbert)
Those who discourage you will witness your elevation
Jesus gave a specific instruction that the blind man be called. Never worry about the people, who are against your dream, they will all witness you living it. Thomas Edison lit 2000 electric bulbs in 1880 and silenced his critics, no need to mention that even his critics benefited from his invention. Michael Jordan could not even make it into his High School basketball team as it was said he was not talented, but history attests to the fact he was one of the greatest basketball players in the world. Do not focus on the discouragement from the outside, bank on the encouragement from the inside and do the unforgettable.
He knew what he wanted
Clarity is one attribute that all great people have in life. It has often been said if you do not know where you want to go, any road will take you anywhere. They know what they want and they decide to go for it. Jesus had to ask a specific question as to what Bartimaeus wanted Him to do for him. Bartimaeus had an answer to the question. A number of times we do not experience breakthroughs in life because when the opportunity comes we are confused as to what we want. There are certain individuals who cannot answer you with clarity when you ask them what they want to do in life, where they see themselves five years from now. What do you want in life? Know what you want. Do not live in confusion, time will not wait for you to clear your confusion. Join me on Star FM on Wednesdays (09:30am-10:00am) for some moments of inspiration on the Breeze with Tariro “Mai Judah”.
Arthur Marara is a corporate law attorney, keynote and peak performance speaker, business strategy facilitator commanding the stage with his delightful humour, raw energy, and wealth of life experiences. He is a financial wellness expert and is passionate about addressing the issues of wellness, sales, business leadership and strategy.
◆ Arthur is the author of the “Personal Development Toolkit”, “Keys to Effective Time Management” among other inspirational books. Follow him on social media, or WhatsApp him on +263780055512 or email [email protected]