You can’t know before you go

You won’t know before you go. You won’t know that everything is going to be safe. You won’t know that everything is going to be okay. Not everything is always going to be okay all of the time. No one has a crystal ball. The fact is, you won’t know until you go.

We can’t eliminate all of the risk. We can’t say that once it’s completely safe and the outcome is certain then I’ll go. Without risk there is no leap. So instead of trying to eliminate the risk, we should minimize it.

In a world where three billion people are connected, it’s now easier than ever before to minimize risk. At the same time we can develop these skills:

  • Rather than following a map, develop a compass.
  • You can develop a compass by developing good judgement. But here is the paradox of judgement: Good judgement comes from experience. And experience comes from bad judgement.
  • So then we have to ask, what’s the worst that can happen? Is this real risk? The kind where failure means death. Or is it perceived risk? The kind of risk where you will be judged. (The only way to avoid criticism is to do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.)

But still we won’t know if we will like this product or good or service until we actually use it. Most of us don’t try things anymore that we haven’t done before. And if you live in on a $3 a day, you certainly haven’t bought anything that your parents didn’t buy. For the rest of us, when is the last time you did something for the first time?

[That why we need to do a better job telling a story that resonates with the people around us. Stories that are going to make us cry. Stories that will make us miss you if you were gone. I don’t remember the brand of the last toaster I bought. I bought what was the cheapest because that’s what I needed. But I can remember my favorite book in college was On the Road by Jack Kerouac. That book changed me. Not bad for something that only cost me 20 bucks.]