Many years ago, I dated someone who loved taking high risks; his name was Tom. Tom raced cars that used Nitro for gas; he got a thrill out of swinging in high wind 300 feet in the air; he would walk into dangerous or toxic environments with little thought for his own safety.  Tom did it because it was exciting. I admired him for his lack of fear – still do – and I would never want to do what he did.

But, I have done things that were exciting, thrilling, and dangerous: I’ve driven at speeds I shouldn’t because I’d crammed too much into the day; I’ve spent the entire night working on a project because I loved the thrill of doing something new, while completely ignoring what that was doing to my health. Doing those things some of the time are probably fine; doing them as a rule aren’t fine, and I did them as a rule.

I wasn’t so different from Tom after all!

Many of us confuse excitement with joy; happiness with fulfillment. Our jobs can be exciting – every day something new.  But that doesn’t mean we are fulfilled or feel joy from them. If we don’t feel safe in our jobs, then we won’t feel joy either.

What does it mean – to feel safe in our jobs?

For Tom, it might be confidence in the structures he was hanging from. For me, it’s feeling appreciated and valued. If I don’t feel those from my fellow workers, I won’t stay.

Tom was a Daredevil. So am I – in a different way. I will walk out of a business, a job, a calling, if I don’t feel valued and respected. I won’t do it impulsively but I do know what matters to me. And that’s all that matters.

What matters to you? What are you willing to do for what matters?

If you know and are willing, then you know what it is to be a Daredevil.



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Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .


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