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Did You Hear That: Seeking Challenges and Taking Risks

Education is a pathway to freedom—the freedom to experience the world, go beyond expectations, to take chances, gain insight, and sometimes to risk miserably failing. 

But, that's when some of the greatest learning and growth happens—because we dared. We took a chance, put in the preparation and hard work, and stayed true to our mission.

How we navigate risk is a vital contributor to our effectiveness and success as educators. Who and what we listen to determines the heights we can reach. 




Optimistic people play a disproportionate role in
shaping our lives. Their decisions make a difference;
they are inventors, entrepreneurs, political and
military leaders—not average people. They got to where
they are by seeking challenges and taking risks.  
— Daniel Kahneman

We recently had a mountain-top experience! Our visit to Denver last week included touring incredible mountains, parks, and scenery. But, as the elevation increased, the oxygen decreased. So Tammy and I had to pace ourselves.

IMG_0440After riding to the top of Monarch Mountain, more than two miles above sea level, we were shown a door that also came with a warning about the dangers just outside.

The view was beautiful,
but the snow was unstable,
the winds were up to 30 MPH,
and the risks of falling were high.

Then came a caveat from the guy in charge:
You're on your own out there.

Curious, I started walking toward the door and Tammy asked, "Did you hear that?!"

Whoever watches the wind will not plant; 
whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
— Ecclesiastes 11:4

In light of the circumstances, the risks and rewards weren't worth walking outside through that door. But, I could see the beauty of that picture and the hidden meaning in the moment. 

Success without taking risks is rare, but those decisions have to be made faithfully.

The farmer plants his crop believing it will rain, otherwise he'll never reap anything. Likewise, when we're called to do something, we can’t delay til things are just right.

What fears are you listening to? What’s holding you back from taking an important risk?

Take a chance! All life is a chance.
The man who goes farthest is generally 

the one who is willing to do and dare. 

— Dale Carnegie

Educators make a difference in the lives of nearly everyone, and optimistic educators make an even greater impact.

We may risk restoring relationships, trying new methods, or learning the latest tech. By believing in their potential, their possibilities, and their promise, we instill hope and courage.

Though the risks are evaluated carefully, we favor action over the fearful status quo.

If we hesitate, we might miss the chance of a lifetime at the peak of the mountain.

Let your decisions make a difference this week, my friend, as you continue to grow in faith and take a worthwhile chance.

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