My bucket list is pretty much full of holes.
In 2002 I went scuba diving with sharks. Sharks weren’t part of the original plan, but ended up getting thrown in as part of the package.
In 2003, I bungee jumped and then White Water rafted on the Nile.
In 2010, I went sky diving.
I’ve lived in war torn countries, high crime areas, inner cities and other unwelcoming places.
Remember, “When in Doubt, leave it out.”
Well, here’s where that doesn’t work.
Each one of those experiences is emblazoned in my mind. Most I would repeat readily, given the time and resources.
At this point, you probably think I’m a little full of myself, or a nut, or maybe you are a little jealous. But let me take a look back at those experiences and I’ll explain what a “measured risk” is.
When I went Sky diving, I jumped tandem. With a jump instructor who had over 10,000 jumps, and no accidents. I grilled him before we got in his plane. 10,000 jumps. Not 500, not 1000. 10,000. Because if I’m going to fall out of the sky at the speed of a mile in 30 seconds, I want to do do strapped to someone who knows a thing or two about the situation.
My first experience Scuba diving was with a certified dive master, under closely controlled circumstances. Sure, the sharks scared us, but Lucianno knew his business. He was a master chef too, btw, so after we dove, he prepared the most succulent meals aboard his ship. But I digress.
The crew who took us Bungee Jumping and white water rafting had the whole thing down tight. They refused to even believe us when we gave our weight. Their scales were the only ones that mattered. And though we got wet several times, their boats were much larger than the other outfitters on the river.
Were these experiences risky? Sure. The odds for error if there were an error, those are much slimmer. But life is full of risk, at least a life that is lived.
To get the girl, you have to risk the ask. To get the raise, you risk the irritation of the boss. Every major moment in our lives is fraught with risks.
But if I’ve learned anything leading up to the age 40, is that a life without risks is no life at all. But measured risks are the path of wisdom I want to take.