This past Saturday was Outbound Orientation for a group of high school students preparing to go on a year-long foreign exchange experience through Rotary. I’ve been involved in Rotary Youth Exchange since 1994, and find that this process exhilarating for all parties.

My job was to give a 45-minute presentation on being resilient. My goal is to make the session interactive by proposing ideas and then asking questions of the students.

At the conclusion, I always ask for what most resonated with each of them. I never cease to be amazed by the answers because very often, it’s not what I expected.

Several of the students mentioned to a point I made about midway through the presentation. The point was summarized in a brief bullet point stating,

“Always ask, what could go wrong OR right?”

When we deal with being proactive in prevention of crises, one of the tenets is to peek around corners and consider what could go wrong. As a career risk management and resilience thought leader, I support this practice. However, I also encourage thinking about what could go right.

Too often, we close ourselves off from opportunities out of fear of what might go wrong. For example, someone considering starting a business might determine that what might go wrong is losing all their money, so they decide to not take the risk. It might have been wise to consider what might have gone right… perhaps founding a business that allowed them to reach all their financial and personal dreams after much hard work.

Young people on an exchange to a foreign country will be asked to try many things. Some might even be scary. Considering both sides of the coin intrigued the students I spoke to this weekend. I’m hoping they take that question with them as part of their journey.

I hope the same for you.

As we all are chasing unleashed, we will be given opportunities to make decisions. While considering what could go wrong is a sensible first question to ask, I also think that putting credence into what could go right be a more weighty question to ponder.

As we traverse our own Back 9 in life, how many of us regret not taking a chance? And likewise, how many of us are happy that we took the course more risky, but through grit, determination, and skill found an unmatched reward.

The next time you are faced with the proverbial pros and cons decision-making process, make sure you ask yourself,

What could go right?”

Keep chasing unleashed.

Quote of the Week:

“People change and forget to tell each other.”

~ Lillian Hellman, 19th century American Dramatist

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