Saturday, November 20, 2010

The IB Learner Profile - Risk Taker

Today I saw this on Twitter from @discomfortzone.  It reminded me that to succeed at something you have to be prepared to take a risk and perhaps to fail.  This started me thinking about taking the right sorts of risks - or in the words of Jim Hayhurst Sr - knowing which is the right mountain for you to climb.  (Jim was part of the Canadian Expedition to Mt Everest in 1988).

Sometimes in life you find yourself on the wrong mountain or perhaps with the wrong team of people to climb the mountain.  Sure you can continue to climb, sure the view at the top might be great, but perhaps for you it's the wrong mountain, even though it might be right for the others.  Sometimes you realise that even if you make it to the top, you won't make it back down again.  Sometimes the sacrifices are just too great.  Sometimes it's just not worth it.

Being a risk taker doesn't mean being reckless.  It doesn't mean compromising your core values just to get to the top.  What it does mean is that you have to stop letting others people tell you what success is.  It means discovering and defining what success means for you.  And then it means not selling yourself short.

Living in Switzerland, and spending my weekends walking in the nearby mountains, I've learned that coming down a mountain is often more difficult than climbing it (I remember being told once that more accidents and deaths happen on the way down than on the way up).  Being able to say "this is the wrong mountain for me" often requires more courage than just heading onwards and upwards blindly.  Coming down from the wrong mountain is definitely not admitting failure.  It's admitting that you know what is right for you.  It's saying that you're not afraid to take a risk and try again and that you hope to find the right mountain next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment