“If things seem under control, you are just not going fast enough. ”
– Mario Andretti
I work in finance and as all know, the famous idiom goes “without risk there is no reward”. There are simply no guaranteed returns. Risk is inevitable.
I’ve taken many risks in my life. All of those risks brought me to where I am and who I am today.
I had a very sheltered only child’s existence. I excelled in all things at school and pushed myself to be the best at everything I did.
My lifelong dream was to go live in France. My mother used to take me on summer holidays to visit my aunt and cousins in the south of France, in Nice more particularly. And somehow I was in love with France. As early as I could remember I used to tell my mom “one day I’ll live in France” and she would just smile at me nodding her head.
Sure enough, in my first year of university I applied for an exchange program in France. I was so excited. Even more excited that my boyfriend at the time would be going with me. Unfortunately life doesn’t always work out the way you wish it would, and he didn’t end up being able to join me on that one year adventure. I hesitated so much before deciding to go on my own. I knew nobody. I never lived far from home, in my own apartment, all alone. I was 20. It might not seem like a big deal to some, but it sure was to me. I took a leap of faith and went.
This decision changed the whole course of my life. I won’t go into details here; I’ll leave those for later posts. But I ended up meeting great people, going on many adventures, learning a great deal about life, and was fortunate enough to be offered career opportunities around the world that wouldn’t have been possible at home in Montreal. It wasn’t easy. It was hard. Really hard. But it made me tough, independent and strong.
I went on to work and live in Paris, London, Geneva, New York, and now Dubai. And it all started with that childhood dream to one day live in France. Some decisions have an unexpected domino effect on your life. You just have to take a leap of faith and jump on an opportunity. Beware, the definition of risk differs from person to person. For one it may be going to an event where they don’t know a soul, for another it may be moving countries. It doesn’t matter, as long as you get out there and live. I make it a point to take a risk every day of my life, to push my boundaries I would say. One day it may be speaking to a complete stranger, the other it may be trying something foreign to me.
There’s no sense in calculating everything and trying to plan out your life to the minute. Close your eyes and jump off that ledge. Figuratively speaking of course.
“If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs. ”
– Dhirubhai Ambani