Geoff Hudson-Searle

5 years ago · 4 min. reading time · 0 ·

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The extraordinary life of challenging the status quo

The extraordinary life of challenging the status quo


I was discussing my first book, “Freedom after the Sharks”, recently with friends and in particular I was challenged on chapter nine, ‘Building the Dream’.

I was asked: “So is it only successful people that take risks?”

All people who achieve greatness take calculated risks and we all have the ability to make choices, but first we need to take a ‘leap of faith’. Entrepreneur’s do think things through and evaluate options. All ideas are researched to gain foresight that is required to make an informed decision. But, generally it comes down to the following three questions:

1. What’s the best-case scenario?
2. What’s the worst-case scenario?
3. What’s the most likely scenario?

As Denis Waitley once said: “Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.”

Taking risks is not the secret to life, but taking risks does mean we are never at risk of doing nothing.

Too many people ‘play it safe.’ This is the playground of mediocrity. It is where average people live. They colour inside the lines, and always play by the rules. They fear the unknown, and rarely if ever venture outside the boundaries. People who ‘play it safe’ are predictable. Their life is run by rules and routine. Their actions are often dictated by the opinions of others. This is the crowd that fights to keep things the same…

Risk-takers are entrepreneurs, however, they a different and extraordinary breed. They live in the realm of possibility and greatness. They are not afraid to live beyond the boundaries and to colour outside the lines. To them, there is no such thing as failure; only experiments that did not work. Risk-takers are marked by a sense of adventure and passion. They care little for the accolades of the crowd. They are more focused on squeezing everything they can out of every moment of time. They are not afraid to ‘boldly go where no one has gone before.’

Success without risk?

Think about it. Try naming one historical figure that made a difference by playing it safe and being average. The vast majority of successful people are remembered for the difference that they made in their lifetime. And that difference required them to take risks and challenge the status quo.

We are inspired by people who go beyond the norm and push the boundaries of possibility. Mediocrity, on the other hand, does not inspire. Nor does it lead to greatness. Success, however you define it, will elude you unless you are willing to push the limits you have placed on yourself, and that others have placed on you.

The Orville brothers would have never made their historical flight if they had listened to the naysayers. Henry Ford would have never invented the automobile if he had paid attention to his critics. David would have never defeated Goliath if he had allowed his own family to discourage him. The list goes on and on.

Every major breakthrough in history, in business, science, medicine, sports, etc. is the result of an individual who took a risk and refused to play it safe. Successful people understand this. Their innovation is the result of their adventurous spirit. They invent, achieve, surpass, and succeed because they dare to live beyond the realm of normal.

However, many people have mixed feelings about risk, in part because they sense that facing the things we fear can present solutions to our internal dilemmas. Risk is something you want and don’t want, all at the same time. It tempts you with its rewards yet repels you with its uncertainties.

Take high diving, for instance. It’s been called a testament to man’s indulgent pursuit of the insignificant. After all, what did my own high-flying feats prove? That I could withstand two and a half seconds of plummeting hell? So what? The answer lies in my confrontation with my limitations and fears. For me, taking a high dive was more than an act of bravado or a flight of fancy. It was an act of liberation.

Like it or not, taking risks is an inevitable and in-escapable part of life. Whether you’re grappling with the possibility of getting married, starting a business, making a high-stakes investment, or taking some other life or career leap of consequence, one of these days, you’ll wind up confronting your own personal high dive.

Paul Brody, Chief Product Officer of CleverTap sits down with Mark Lack to discuss the right time to take a risk. Is there a right time? When is it?

Risk makes us feel alive. Life without risk is life stuck in a rut. If you feel like your job or life is getting boring and monotonous, then you’re not taking enough risk. The fact is we are built to take risk. We need change and growth in our lives. If you’re not growing, then you’re dying. Realize that nothing in this world truly stays the same.

Risk stretches us and helps us grow. Risk gets us out of our comfort zone to do something different. We learn by experience. Risk teaches us more about ourselves and helps us improve. How much more do we learn through the experiences of trying something big and failing? How much do you learn from taking risk and seeing the outcome?

Don’t let your fear of failure stop you. Fear of failure is often the single biggest obstacle that prevents us from reaching our full potential. We worry about what will happen if/when we fail. Realise that failure is relative. While you may interpret something as a failure, someone else may see it as a valuable learning experience. Often, failure is only failure to the extent you see it that way. What if true failure meant wasting your talent? What if failure was delaying action and missing opportunities because you didn’t take that risk?

Find your true calling. You feel most alive when you’re doing what you were meant to do. We’re not supposed to stay the same, but are charged with growing and developing. Everyone has greatness in them if they challenge themselves enough.

When you are faced with a decision and are wondering if it is worth the risk, it may help to ask yourself these questions:

– Am I risking more than I am able, physically, mentally, or emotionally, at this time?
– Will I be able to take this opportunity again at some other point?
– Are my fears based on real danger, or just on the fear of the unknown?
– What other possible opportunities do I risk by taking/not taking this opportunity?
– Is the risk of doing nothing greater than what I risk by taking this opportunity?

If we think about risks with these questions and process the risk of doing nothing, we are likely to make choices that seem risky, even crazy, to others, but make sense for each of us in our own lives.

The truth is that no matter how much we try to avoid risk and hide from pain, it will still find us, even if it is just in the form of regret. It’s far better to weigh each risk for ourselves and decide which risks are right for us to take than to always let the fear of risks force us to take the risk of doing nothing.

Let me leave you with this amazing quote by Mark Frost:

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body. But rather, to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming…. “

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Geoff Hudson-Searle

5 years ago #21


Devesh 🐝 Bhatt

5 years ago #20

Not with reference to you or me. It was a reply to a specific comment of a specific person i admire except for this department :)

Geoff Hudson-Searle

5 years ago #19

Darren Pearson you remember my quote from Freedom after the Sharks 'never, never give up on your dreams' The question is not if you want the dream, it is a question of how much you want the dream!

Geoff Hudson-Searle

5 years ago #18

No risks in that department Devesh \ud83d\udc1d Bhatt if you are in the 'connected relationship' or 'marriage' :-))

Geoff Hudson-Searle

5 years ago #17

Love your quote Brian McKenzie great set of entrepreneurial words, its true to say a true entrepreneur does not ask questions about whether or not they will succeed—they truly believe they will. They exude this confidence in all aspects of life, and as a bi-product, they are never afraid to take risks due to their unbinding faith that ultimately they will triumph.

Geoff Hudson-Searle

5 years ago #16

Thank you Darren Pearson for your wonderful comments across this weeks blog, I felt the theme and topic this week would resonate with you. Mr Ferris, I like the quote 'The question isn't 'what are we going to do', the question is 'what aren't we going to do?' Looking forward more 'Meaningful Conversations' DP

Devesh 🐝 Bhatt

5 years ago #15

the risk of marriage :):):)

Geoff Hudson-Searle

5 years ago #14

Susan, great to have your inputs and thoughts, I love your quote which reminds me of a Buddha quote ' “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment” I like to add my sentiment, which is 'don't just live, but thrive' and occasionally smell the roses! :-) Thank you for your words of wisdom.

Geoff Hudson-Searle

5 years ago #13

Thank you Harvey, great to hear from you as always :-) Calculated risk is one that I am familiar with, shooting from the hip with no focus can be dangerous, I have seen this go disastrously wrong in entrepreneurial leadership. A true entrepreneur does not ask questions about whether or not they will succeed—they truly believe they will. They exude this confidence in all aspects of life, and as a bi-product, they are never afraid to take risks due to their unbinding faith that ultimately they will triumph. The question to have risk, but rather to decide to manage/influence the outcome or buy the tee-shirt that says, "stuff-happens" and sit in the bleachers....not to many tee-shirts that say 'stuff-happens' in my wardrobe :-)
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body. But rather, to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming…." THAT WAS ONE HELL OF A RIDE! That's what I would want to be yelling at the end, Geoff Hudson-Searle! I've always been a risk-taker, much to the chagrin of my mom (my dad was cool with it), and my husbands. Yeah, plural. I do think, though, that as we age our ways of taking risks change -- maybe not so many physical ones but more mental / emotional / stimulating ones. True for me, anyway. Excellent post, and thanks!

Harvey Lloyd

5 years ago #11

Great read. Risk is the measurement of "my" perspective against the value at the end. What i don't think people realize is that risk is not an all or nothing gambit. But rather, a staged concept that unfolds over time. WIth each day bringing new elements of understanding the very risk you plotted the day before. For sure the house is on fire presents us with risk that we sense all at one time. Some investments may present the all or nothing bet. However in most situations an entrepreneur can take on a risk journey and measure the risk factors daily as the cards are dealt. Each day presenting new decisions that begin to secure the risk components of the choice. Time, food, clothing, shelter and relationships all produce risk whether you manage it or not. The question is not to have risk, but rather to decide to manage/influence the outcome or buy the tee-shirt that says, "stuff-happens" and sit in the bleachers.

Geoff Hudson-Searle

5 years ago #10

Thank you Tricia Mitchell for your beautiful words of wisdom. Happy Monday!

Ali Anani

5 years ago #9

Again, an absorbing comment Geoff Hudson-Searle and in particular "Emotional state journey The second layer of the journey should plot the change in the emotional state that people should experience to fully engage in the multi sensory experience". I am so glad that I included the emotional ladder in my buzz because it fits so well with your comment.

Geoff Hudson-Searle

5 years ago #8

Joseph is incredible, I first read his book in the 1990's, interesting enough Spilsberg used Joseph's formula in the movie business and the first film was ET and his work continues this was observed by Harvard because there was an instant translation from the film business to business and his work maintains today. Joseph's work has provided the rational for changing behavior based on a better attitude to life through raising the visual journey; It is important to define the start and finish of the experience, as portal zones for every experience. Emotional state journey The second layer of the journey should plot the change in the emotional state that people should experience to fully engage in the multi sensory experience.

Ali Anani

5 years ago #7

Yes, and I am aware of Joseph Campbell work. In fact, there are software which are based on his non-conventional approach to the 3-Act of storytelling. I am referring to your great buzz because it shows how the way to reform and transform into a better human beings with more maturity. Your buzz gives the rational for changing behavior based on better attitude to life. It is the transformation stage that I find of very special value of your buzz Geoff Hudson-Searle

Geoff Hudson-Searle

5 years ago #6

I will visit Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee your blog. My hero across storytelling is Joseph Campbell His work covered many aspects of the human experience. Campbell's magnum opus is his book 'The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949)' a superb read, in which he discusses his theory of the journey of the archetypal hero found in world mythologies. His philosophy has been summarized by his own often repeated phrase: "Follow your bliss. You should listen to his YouTube 'Myth as the mirror for the ego'

Geoff Hudson-Searle

5 years ago #5

Thank you so much Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher we are both passionate around risk and the lessons that you can learn in adversity that can shape your life forever. Yesterday, I sent out a buzz that questioned the fact that each of us is, to some extent or other, a reflection of the experiences of our lives. However, whether and how we succeed is determined at least in part by how we cope with those experiences and what we learn from them. I believe this to be true, the premise of my first book 'Freedom after the Sharks' was based on this fact as a non fiction, it was also a true story. However, some people will never take risk and quite possibly will never find their life purpose, we are all different, different attitudes, different motivations, and different needs in life. I have helped over 300 companies achieve their vision, every single company took risk/s to be where they are today and to achieve their overall objective, morally, ethically and to make a difference in community.

Ali Anani

5 years ago #4

Your example is spot on and the story is a great one Geoff Hudson-Searle. I concur with you that we are different human beings and we have our own stories to share. How to make life a challenge isn't the same for every one and this what makes "the spice of variety". I have no difference with you whatsoever. I shall be very interested in reading your comment on my buzz because I feel that you have what makes a great storyteller as exemplified by your comment.

Geoff Hudson-Searle

5 years ago #3

Thank you Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee for your gratitude over my buzz, I am pleased it grabbed your attention. I feel the same sentiment around your comment that 'life can be boring straight without the lines' however, what we consider to be exciting can be boring to other's - we cannot be all the same and life is not one generic formula that we can shoe horn in to a matrix when we feel the necessity. Darwin was prolific in his assessments as with Einstein, you will recall one of Darwin's quotes, 'It is not the strongest of species that survives, but the specie that is more adaptable to change' so true about life too. I was moved by a bio film I saw yesterday called Maudie, the bio film is based on a true story, is an unlikely romance in which the reclusive Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke) hires a fragile yet determined woman named Maudie (Sally Hawkins) to be his housekeeper. Maudie, bright-eyed but hunched with crippled hands, yearns to be independent, to live away from her protective family and she also yearns, passionately, to create art. Unexpectedly, Everett finds himself falling in love. MAUDIE charts Everett's efforts to protect himself from being hurt, Maudie's deep and abiding love for this difficult man and her surprising rise to fame as a folk painter. This is a perfect example of challenges that we have in life, overcoming adversity, never giving up of the dream, determination, desire and tenacity, the risks were against this very brave and determined woman in so many ways, but she lived happy and became and acclaimed painter in the process. I will read your blog on 'Storytelling' this is one of my writing passion topics, I will be interested to see your opinions and views. Have a great week.

Ali Anani

5 years ago #2

Geoff Hudson-Searle- the title of your buzz grabbed my attention and I am glad I did. I couldn't be more agreeing with like I am on this buzz. In fact II feel your buzz is a natural integrator to my buzz of yesterday on "A Simple Approach to Storytelling". Life is a boring straight line without challenges and risk-taking. It is staying in the trough of our comfort zone with little mobility. The kicking point (Driving point) is when a person realizes his/her need to challenge the boredom and safety of his position. Now, your buzz is a great way to build up a great story. How to seek for challenges? How to start the drive for a new and more exciting life. Your buzz gives the rational perfectly well. I enjoyed immensely reading your buzz and therefore I am sharing it.

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #1

Great buzz Geoff Hudson-Searle. "Risk makes us feel alive." Could not agree more. Sometimes it can be very painful but once you work through the fear of taking a risk, it emboldens you (not in a pompous way).

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