Identity: Here Lies a Risk-taker

by bxrtley

If today were my last day on earth, I’d want to be known for taking risks rather than just being successful. Risk-taker sounds more adventurous. Okay, so success isn’t a cheap commodity either, but you can end up living a “successful” life with 2% skimmed milk meaning or 70% trans-fat boredom. On the other hand, risk can be considered reckless or even immature. And the older we get, the less risk we readily welcome.

Risk is replaced with security, which fosters sustainability. Maintenance. And that’s warranted, especially if you eventually have a family to take care of or just get older. Men weren’t born to mine data in cubicles. We were designed for much more. John Eldredge calls it an Adventure to Live. His book Wild at Heart was the impetus for a major move in my life two years ago.

So if I had to choose risk or success, I’d go with risk. But here’s the caveat: I’d want to be known for taking risks—for others. When you think of many of the great social activists who seemingly died before their time or some crowning moment of achievement (highly subjective, by the way), you first respect the gusto they had to not only want to make a difference, but actually work towards it. And then you applaud some of those efforts that end up being successful. It’s the story and stakes behind such success that hooks you.

Here lies ______, a _______.

What’s your epithet gonna say?