Ever watched a game of tennis from start to finish? I honestly haven’t. On average, a game of tennis takes too long for my liking. I love watching the highlights. In all my time watching tennis highlights, one thing has always struck me. Tennis, more than any other sport, thrives on risk-taking.
Both players can keep playing for as long as their hands and legs can carry them if they don’t push each other to the edge. The best way to victory would be to take risks which may force the opponent to make errors. If they keep hitting the ball close to the center of the court, chances are the game will not end.
To score points, the players aim their serve or shot as far from the center of the court as possible. When servers hit the ball with force, it’s either they hit aces, stretch the opponent or invariably hit faulty serves. There’s no middle ground; it’s one or the other.
The same principle should apply to matters of everyday life.
If you’re too scared to take risks, the chances are high that you won’t be able to achieve anything worthwhile. The ideas and inventions that have shaped the world on a massive scale had required the dreamers of those ideas to take some very bold and risky decisions.
In hindsight, it’s easy to assume these people were 100 percent certain about where the journey of their dream would lead them. Nothing could be farther from the truth than this assumption. All some of them had was nothing more than an idea and the will to see it through.
When Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, he didn’t set out to build a multi-billion dollar company. He wanted to make an impact on campus, to connect a community comprised of Harvard students, little did he know he’d connect the world.
Sometime last year on my way home from work, exhausted from the day’s job, a thought came to my mind. The thought that Mark Zuckerberg couldn’t have been anything other than a billionaire given the utility of Facebook in the modern world.
He was able to connect people around the globe at an unprecedented scale. Facebook can be considered one of the greatest inventions of the 21st century. Facebook has had a large effect on personal relationships, businesses, and advertisement around the world. You can comfortably advertise your product from the comfort of your home or office to a global audience.
The creation of the globally recognized app didn’t come without sacrifice as Zuckerberg had to risk his college education for the world to connect. Zuckerberg in following Bill Gates’ footsteps dropped out of Harvard University to pursue Facebook. This is despite the fact that getting accepted to study at Harvard is in itself the dream of a lot of people. Here is an individual throwing all that away because he had an idea he wanted to pursue.
This shouldn’t be interpreted to be an endorsement of dropping out of college to pursue your dream as studies show that a vast majority of the most successful people in the US attended college. Obtaining a college degree is a laudable achievement. All I’m saying is your big idea will require you taking some risks which are bound to scare you.
If the dream of Facebook hadn’t crystalized to what it is today, there would be a lot of people on the sidelines waiting to stick it to Zuckerberg. In that moment, dropping out of an Ivy League school won’t be such a great idea, at least to onlookers. For this reason, a lot of people are afraid of taking risks.
Your mind may be the repository for something big. The thought that Google or Facebook will be the market leader in their respective fields forever is a false one considering that there were other bigger companies before them. After all, there was a time when Netscape and Internet Explorer dominated the internet browsing sphere.
It’s obvious that achieving anything worthwhile requires a certain amount of risk.
Success is like a jealous lover demanding your undivided attention at all times even to the point of forfeiting something precious. Instead of sitting on that idea for fear of the unknown, you should conquer it by taking a leap of faith and hope for the best while you give it your all.
When people advice that you shouldn’t take a particular step, it’s usually coming from a place of fear, and not just practicality (as it’s often described). They don’t see the world through your eyes. Your idea doesn’t have to be the next corporate behemoth for it to be considered a success, the deal is for you to start and see where it leads you. Hopefully therein lies endless possibilities.
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