Tuesday, 30 March 2010

#12: Caution caution.

Throughout Jan-Mar I've been posting the "12 entrepreneurial lessons I learnt from 2009" series.

Installments so far: Introduction,
Lesson : #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11

This post is a big concept, which is a pleasing fit for the grand finale of a series I, at times, wondered if I'd even see to completion. Big concepts tend towards long concepts without supervision, however, and I've been sufficient in violating lesson three as it stands. So, you'll have to come dashing through with me and I trust it will resonate no less for it..

From the moment I was born, a ceaseless string of people have endeavored to teach me to curb my predilection towards impulsiveness. From my immediate family up to the government, from two days old through to two decades, one message held consistent: you ought to look before you leap, try a little bit first, wait for the second release (once the bugs are out), sleep on it, keep your options open, plan ahead, leave bridges unburnt, lines uncrossed and marks understepped..

It was Benjamin Franklin who said that “distrust and caution are the parents of security". Well, who in their right mind daren't aspire to security above all else?
Everybody understands that wanton, indiscriminate, risk taking is a recipe for destruction. Thoughtlessness in the face of danger will surely lead to disaster.. but what about indiscriminate caution?
How wasteful is thoughtless caution in the face of opportunity?

How often do chances of brilliance pass us by because we weren't 100% ready, 100% sure. Well here's something I proved in 2009, as strictly speaking I didn't learn it. I've always known it...

You'll NEVER be ready,
You'll NEVER be sure,
and if you try to hang on until you are..
You'll NEVER make a difference.

Only when you begin will you truly see what you've undertaken. Only then can you beg, steal, borrow or divine all that you need to make it work. To fail to plan may be to plan to fail, but you can't properly prepare for what you cannot know.

Goethe is over-quoted in his shortened form, far more beautiful in full, and I cannot resist..

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now."

'The moment one definitely commits oneself' - not before.

Caution and security are luxuries we can't always be treated to. Someone has to take a chance, brave the risk and leap anyway, because sometimes risk and fear are the only things powerful enough to overcome inertia.

And with society and planet close to bearing right down a dead end path, I only hope there are enough 'someones' remaining, and enough 'sometime' to realise that while only the former is government endorsed, indiscriminate caution is just as dangerous a thread in humanity as indiscriminate risk taking..

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