Every now and then I find myself telling my kids “be careful!“. They run around, they climb, they jump, they play all over the place and of course, as I do not want them to get hurt, the first words that often come out of my mouth are … “be careful“.
My wife recently helped me realized that by doing this I am actually doing more harm that good. Basically all I am doing is telling my kids that they should “play it safe“, that the shouldn’t do anything too “edgy“, that is better to avoid taking risks and in other words that they should just “follow the rules“.
But what I have also realized is that one of the reasons why I have reached most of my accomplishments in life, is not because I was “being careful“! I mean … I used to be a circus arts performer! Yes! I used to be a flying trapeze artist! You do not get to perform “double-back somersaults” or “passing leaps” or “single trapeze” acts just by “being careful”
I had the opportunity to work in many different countries, meet the love of my life, work with remarkable people, work on designing and building a successful career in a wide variety of industries (work in progress), take part in exciting projects… not because I was “being careful”, but because I was adventurous, because I took chances and was on the edge, because I took action when other people just stayed still “being careful“.
Of course I am not saying that you should take stupid risks or to simply go out and try something dangerous if you have no clue what you are doing. What I am saying is that if you want to do exciting work and accomplish exciting goals, the last thing you should focus on is on “being careful“.
As George Lois once said:
“Better to be reckless than careful. Better to be bold than safe. Better to have your work seen and remembered. Your work must be seen and remembered or you’ve struck out. There is no middle ground.”