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I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it

Updated: Dec 15, 2020

"I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well." Diane Ackerman


Stirring thoughts from the American poet and essayist. Reminds me of that other chestnut "in the end we only regret the chances we didn't take." True in many cases but not always.


'Living the width' and 'taking chances' can come at the cost of longevity.


To have both is not always possible in our careers, relationships, health & life in general.


However width & length can coexist way more often than we think.


One of the keys to getting this right is being able to differentiate between 'perceived' risk & 'actual' risk.



Very often the things that hold us back predominately exist between our ears & not in reality.


To assess risk playing devil's advocate can be a useful tactic.


Ask yourself the following questions.


What is the worst thing that could happen if I took this risk?

What is the probability of the worst thing happening?

If the worst thing did happen could I recover from it?


Too often we hesitate based on a risk that is both low % and highly recoverable. These thoughts stem from my article on '10 careertips I learned the hard way'. Click here to read.