It is all about taking risks

posted in: All the other stuff, My dreams | 0

riskHi all

Today, I want to write a little about taking risks. It is one of my favorite subject to talk about so I might as well get it on text as well.

Let us start with the facts: I have a great job and a great salary, and I love both parts. I love to go out for dinner, buy nice cloth and get what I like from the supermarket, and not only what I can afford. If I want to buy something for my wife, my kids or myself or travel somewhere, I just do it. I do not need to count the pennies first, and it is nice. Really nice.

The above-mentioned is of course what I am risking, since I am giving it all up for a stab at a career as an author – an author with a guaranteed income of nil, nada, zip, rien… You probably get the point. I have a lot, and I stand to lose a lot. Financially, that is. My wife has told me, divorce is not an imminent threat for the time being.

I know that in the coming months I will probably get tired of broccoli soup and tired of looking at an ever dwindling bank account. I will probably question my decision a million times and look back at the days when money came flowing in on a daily basis, and I ordered double up on the expensive sushi because I liked to and could afford it.

So why am I still taking the risk with this foolish career change, when I seemingly have all a man could wish for and then some?

I take the risk because I mentally cannot afford to have a dream and not go for it. I do not want to live a life where my dreams are dictated by my fears of losing something as meaningless as coins and bills. Yes, they are nice to have, but I also make a damn good broccoli soup. I would rather save money on cloth, expensive sushi and travels and live my dream than sit on a Michelin star restaurant talking about how I have a dream, but I do not dare to reach out for it. To me it is not really risk taking. It is a logical choice.

My wife and I have a saying that we try to live by when we face tough decisions. It goes like this: ‘What is the worst thing that could happen?’ When you ask yourself that question, it puts things into perspective.

To me it is a good reminder that I live an over-privileged life where the worst-case scenario for the imminent future is finding out I cannot write anything worth reading, and I have to beg to get my old job back. God forbid it, I might even have to get a real job from 9 to 5. What a horrible thought!!! My kids will not starve to death, and I will not need to sell a kidney. That is not what I am risking by reaching out for my dream, which is why I am more than willing to go for it.

I will add that I am also a risk taker, and I fully acknowledge that many people need financial stability to sleep well at night. I do not. I need something nice to dream of to sleep well at night, and right now, it is of becoming an author.

Would you also be willing to risk a lot to live your dream?

Please feel free leave a comment

Chris

I have a dream

posted in: My dreams | 4

I have a dream.

My dream is to be able to make a living from writing fiction. I want to tell stories that linger for weeks after the last page is turned. It will be mind-boggling sci-fiction, epic historical novels, fast paced fantasy and chilling crime novels. I want to explore the depths of my imagination and create stories that pull my readers into the unique universes that I create. I guess, I am no different from most other authors in that respect.

I admire all the aspiring authors of the world. Most use hundreds of hours writing books without having the faintest idea if anyone but their grandmother and maybe an aunt will buy and read them. However they still pursue a dream when in many cases they could have chosen a safer path in life with a 9 to 5 job and a fixed salary. So could I. I actually have a great job. As a science journalist, I get to write about human evolution, climate change, genetics, history and archaeology on a daily basis. I have written more than a thousand articles on these subjects and I am very successful. Still, I want to try something new. I only have one life (most people do), and I do not want to sit in some retirement home many years from now regretting that I had a dream of writing books, but chose the safer path, because it was the financially sound thing to do.

I often cite something a nurse at a retirement home in Australia wrote in some book a few years back. She had cared for dying people for more than 25 years, and in the end she made a list of the things people regret the most before they die. The thing most people regret is:

‘I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, and not the life others expected of me.’

Now, I hope I can inspire people by pursuing my dream. Mainly, I want to inspire my children by showing them that dreams are meant to be fulfilled. If they are not, then they are only fantasies. My dream right now is to write books and be able to make a living of it. Will I succeed? I do not know, but in the end I want to be able to tell the nurse at some retirement home 60 years from now that I do not regret the life I lived, and that I truly tried to live out all of my dreams.

Feel free to leave a comment or ask any questions:-)

Chris