Risk & Reward I

“If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary…” — Jim Rohn

I was going through some employee reviews the other morning, which I enjoy doing as it provides me some insights into each individual. Our employees are asked to assess themselves then they are assessed by their superior. I often notice self-evaluations to be a bit one sided and at times notice the superior may agree with the employees personal assessment or may downplay something that stands out to me like a sore thumb. What I look for lets me know if the employee is a self-starter. It lets me know if they will get out of their own box and become all that is necessary, not only to better their job skills and thus their ability to make more, but more importantly, make more of their own life in the process.

I am looking is to see if they are willing to risk the unusual. By risking the unusual they may be showing a desire to grow beyond the person they are today. This can be viewed by many bosses in various ways. Yes, there are those that are obstinate for the sake of being obstinate. But, more often than not they are people that are simply thinking outside the box and willing to risk the unusual. There was a day when I didn’t view this as something that was good. I viewed it the way I was raised, which was if I didn’t do it the way I was told then it wasn’t right even though my way may have been faster and better. Thankfully, I have learned this isn’t the way any manager or leader should view their team. They need to see their team as people wanting to grow in the same manner they did and perhaps even more.

What I now know is by not challenging yourself to become more, you will remain as you are and this will mean, in most cases you will remain ordinary. Ordinary in the sense you did not challenge yourself to stand outside of the crowd and be someone and something different from all of those around you. Ordinary because you did not push yourself to become more. Ordinary because you did not work on yourself and your natural gifts to refine them making you a person offering more to the market place.

Trust me, I know plenty of talented people, people who have much more talent than I do, but they are still ordinary because they have not tapped into all they could be and have relied on the fact they have more gifts and talents than most and thus remain ordinary. They have not pushed themselves to become all they can be. I know people who can cruise into a $450K per year job, BUT if they got after it and risked the unusual, they would be making $1M or more.

All of us have one or more latent gifts or natural talents that could be honed or refined to make us more valuable to the market place. The issue arises when refining the gift or talent into a usable skill doesn’t come easy. Due to the fact one has to work at it, it is not pursued because the thinking is if it was supposed to be it would be easy or easier. Well, that is not the case. It takes effort AND the willingness to risk the unusual to reap the awaiting rewards. It takes risking the uncertainty.

There is a book, I highly recommend, by Carol Dweck, Phd, titled, Mindset. It deals with risking the unusual or settling for the ordinary. It has the potential to influence every aspect of our lives, parenting, business, schooling or relationships. It speaks of TWO MINDSETS. The FIXED Mindset and the GROWTH Mindset. The FM believes you are born with what you have and it cannot be changed. The GM believes you can be whatever you decide. I have seen many people who were so much smarter than I, but because it didn’t come easily they wouldn’t expend any extra efforts to learn or refine that gift or natural talent. On the other hand, I have seen many who were not the sharpest tools in the shed, like myself, and yet due to perseverance and tenacity, I/THEY, were able in risking the unusual, reap a greater reward above the ordinary.

This applies for whatever you do or want to do. It doesn’t matter what you do for a living. It doesn’t matter what you want to do as a hobby or a desire to speak another language, read music, play an instrument, fly a plane, or write a book, the issue is, you must risk the unusual. If you will do this I promise you that you will live a life well above the ordinary.

Best of LUCK as you
Labor Under Correct Knowledge…


Rick Cox