I recently watched a man leave the comfortably safe confines of his airplane at 25,000 feet and sans a parachute or wing suit, fall freakishly fast to the earth below. (See: YouTube “Heaven Sent”) Spoiler alert: he survived. As incredible as it may sound, he manipulated his fall ending safely in a net waiting to catch him. Not discounting his skill in any imagination of the mind, he knew where his net was.
Is he a risk taker or a daredevil? I suspect he is a bit of both. He scienced the hell out of his stunt to reduce the risk but his risk level remained so high that he likewise qualifies as a daredevil. But at he end of the fall, he knew he had that net.
If I asked you if you were a risk taker, you might say yes but many would answer the question with a firm no. Here’s the catch. We are all risk takers, its just the degree of risk that differentiates us. Now I would never perform the stunt previously mentioned but I do take risks. We all get up every morning, go out into the world and interface with dozens or maybe even hundreds of people throughout the day, many that we don’t know and may only meet this once. Is this a risk? I would say yes. How do we handle the risk? By knowing where our nets are.
Our nets may be financial. We save up for the rainy day and if we have done a good job, we can afford a few treats because we know our financial net is in place. They may be emotional. We judge our ability to handle stress and then build in our safety net to release that stress. A vacation may serve as that emotional safety net. And then they may be physical in the sense that they are people we trust to be there for us when we need them the most. There is no risk we cannot handle if we know we have a safety net in place to catch us if we fall.
My safety net is my family and my coworkers. My coworkers keep me sane when the stress of the job would leave me paralyzed. They are there to pitch in or just to listen. My family exists as the success of the risks I have chosen to take. They are my emotional safety net. I know that no matter what I try, that if I were to fail, their love and support would get me through.
We all take risks everyday of our lives. They may not be of the daredevil variety but they are risks none the less. Whether they are physical or emotional we simply need to know where the net is. Know where your net is and then dare to live every day to its fullest. Because that’s what nets are for.