I was talking with a dear friend the other day who shared her slight agitation with a couple of people she had recently come across who were experiencing great success in their careers - both monetary and in being satisfied and fulfilled.
She reasoned she had gotten her education, held professional jobs, and was now a leader in her organization - having the title, staff and salary to go along with it. Yet, how was it that these other people seemed to be happier, more fulfilled and richer than her? And, adding to that agitation, was the fact that these people were 10+ years younger.
I immediately thought of a conversation I had with Kim Snider over a year ago. A financial expert, and one of the speakers at last year's Get RADICAL Women's Conference. What she said forever changed my perspective on what it means to live in a capitalistic society.
Kim explained that the capitalistic system is built to reward people for taking risk. A capitalistic financial system doesn't reward equally - and sometimes it doesn't reward at all. The people my friend was referring to had taken great risks. And while they had some ups and downs, they were experiencing a tremendous payoff for those risks.
Now, that may not seem fair to some people, but that doesn't make it less true. And that analogy can also be true beyond financial success - it can be true in business, relationships, your career, finding peace and creating balance in your life. To gain any of those things to the extent that you want them, it will require risk on your part. That leads to the obvious question:
What risk are you willing to take to get what you want?
When I posed this question to my friend, she paused. Risk - taking a gamble - letting it all ride. Those were concepts that made her very uncomfortable. She related it to gambling - and not only had she never been one to roll the dice, pull on the one armed bandit, or double down on blackjack, she wouldn't even step foot in the casino. That's when I explained that risk should be calculated.
Standing at the craps table and rolling the dice puts you at risk to lose big or win big - but in life, you want to put yourself in a position where the risk is calculated. A loss may be possible, but the payoff could change the trajectory of your life.
Risk, just like doing something RADICAL, is relative. It has a different definition for each person. Risk for someone could be finally changing their hairstyle, ordering something they've never eaten at a restaurant they've never tried, outlining why they deserve a raise and then go and negotiate for it, or joining a professional or social group filled with people they want to get to know.
Risk could also be separating yourself from some people in your life that don’t align with your beliefs, values or goals and focusing on developing more nourishing relationships. It could be tapping into your savings to start a business - or stopping the financial drain by closing a business.
Whatever area in your life you are feeling a little restless with, a little dissatisfied with, a little disappointed with - think about the risk you may have to take to change it. Then decide if you want to stand at the table and roll the dice.
RADICAL Success Coach Doreen Rainey helps her clients take charge of their professional and personal life. She is the founder of the Get RADICAL Women's Conference with Jillian Michaels and Niecy Nash taking place on March 26th in Washington, DC. For more information about the 2011 conference, visit the website. Registration is now open!