I just went for a nice hike through the forest.
The Adirondacks is a deep, vast wilderness in upstate New York.
I found myself looking down at the path for most of the journey because rocks, roots and mud seemed to foil me at every turn. Looking up for even a few seconds would have guaranteed me stumbling and tripping.
When I made it to the paved, flat county road I’d have been a fool to look down at the road. Why? The smooth road posed no threat but pick up truck happy locals barreling down the road at 60 MPH or more make for dangerous crossings in some spots.
Woods-hiking requires looking down at the ground, not up at the forest; at least until you sit down for a break. Crossing the road requires looking left and right for cars speeding by, not down at the ground, smooth, clear pavement.
I had to know how to exercise caution to avoid breaking an ankle – or worse – or being road pizza. More than that, exercising the right type of caution helped me to enjoy the experience while reducing the risk of any negative side effects.
What Are You Cautious About?
In the above example, people sometimes look around in the forest and down when crossing the street. Why? Folks tend to be gun-shy after suffering some heartache, trauma or rough situation.
I recall a former co-worker. He worked a menial job. But if he invested a small portion of his money decades prior, he never would have needed to work again.
He shared with me how he lost a decent chunk of change during a market downturn a long time ago. Never again! He pulled completely out of the market, vowing to never invest money, and versus earning a handsome return on investment through a conservative vehicle for decades, he worked 2 non-skill jobs eating up 16 hours of his day. Never mind the fact he was of retirement age.
He became overly cautious about losing money versus learning from his mistake and investing money in a conservative vehicle that would have padded his nest egg. He should have been cautious about choosing an investment vehicle, not about investing money itself.
Shift Your Caution
What are you cautious about? Do you worry about the wrong things? Playing it safe often leads to pain and heartache down the road or at the least, wasting your time and energy now. I recall observing someone terrified to do anything financially online for fear of losing her money due to hacking issues. She never had to face that fear but wasted precious hours of her life writing checks and mailing out bills versus being cautious about ensuring her bank and bill paying sites proved to be secure.
Being cautious about the right things would have saved a substantial chunk of time and energy as her bill paying process could have been entirely passive, automated and seamless.
Observe your fears. Perhaps it’s time to be careful about different things.
Exhibit a higher level of caution regarding different areas of your life to save your time, energy and to expand your freedom.