“You can’t steal second base and keep one foot on first.” – Frederick B. Wilson
And the moment you take a step off first base, you could be tagged out. Stealing a base involves risk. If the catcher has a strong arm and is accurate, you could be caught stealing. If the pitcher has an excellent move, he could catch you sleeping, like what happened in the picture. Stealing a base is like life. The opportunity to advance without a bat being put on a ball or a walk being issued isn’t guaranteed.
Most opportunities in life involve some risk. There aren’t guarantees. The question is whether or not the opportunity is worth the risk. When assessing an opportunity, it’s time to ask what could happen. “If I switch jobs and then get let go immediately, how will me and my family be financially?” “If I sign up to run a 10K with my brother, what happens if I don’t have time to train?” “If I’m going to say yes to this guy asking me to marry him, what should I expect from our future based on what I know about him and me?
You also want to play the likelihood game. This helps reduce what you have to consider. After all, a possibility that could be considered is, “If I take this new job, what happens if the building gets hits by a huge meteor?” Do we consider this possibility? No, most of us don’t because the likelihood of it happening is so small. So we consider likelihood when we consider risk. That helps us filter things down into a more manageable chunk from which we can decide.
If you want to advance, if you want to improve, if you want to grow, you’re going to face risk. Want to run a marathon? You take a chance of being injured. Want to switch jobs? Consider the possibility that you won’t fit with the culture. Consider the risk but don’t let the fact that there is risk deter you. Make as logical an assessment you can based on the risks you can identify. If you feel you can handle the risk or can overcome the issues they might bring, seriously consider the opportunity. Don’t be so risk averse that you are ineffective. That’s a big risk, in and of itself.