On Memorial Day weekend, I was playing a dice game, called Dinger, with my extended family. We were sitting around the table taking turns trying to get to the winning score of 10,000 points. On each roll, you can take what you’ve accumulated or you can roll again with the risk of losing everything you’ve earned on that turn.
Nothing was at stake except bragging rights for literally 30 seconds before the next game started. But it was fun, and competitive, nonetheless.
Many at the table were conservative and afraid to risk the 1000 or so points they had rolled for the chance to double or quadruple that amount. They liked the safe feeling of a comfortable amount of points and more often than not, packed up the dice and settled for the small amount. My uncle Dave took a different approach, following his simple strategy, “Go big or go home!”
He said, “Who is going to remember the game when someone won by taking 500 points every round? No one. They will remember the game that is won by the crazy player rolling for the huge win.”
He’s right. Think about the most memorable moments in your life… Were they not when you either pushed yourself to do something out of the ordinary or beyond your comfort zone? Or maybe, they were simply events that allowed you to go against the grain of the repetitive and safe everyday life. That time you gave a helping hand when no one else would or serving those in need and then getting to see the smile that is brought to their face.
Let’s assume those events make up 1% of our lives. How do you live with the remaining 99%?
-Are you safe and conservative, afraid to go after that dream that seems to be a little risky?
-Timid to pursue a passion that could bring real change to the world because of the possibility of failure?
-Slow to take that extra step out of your way to check in on a friend or help a stranger out?
I know I’ve been hesitant. I miss opportunities to be there for friends. I don’t always go out of my way to help out a stranger. As far as career decisions, I wanted to go to college and major in engineering because I was pretty confident it would provide a comfortable lifestyle. I could work hard for a little bit, and then I would be able to rest on that short effort; like the 1000 point roll. I didn’t want to risk anything?
But what am I risking bygiving my energy, time, strengths, and possessions to help others? Nothing. There’s nothing to lose but everything to gain. Now I wonder how I can continue to roll the dice. How can I go forward in life and make a difference not for myself, but for those around me? No matter where we are at, everyday, there is a way to roll those dice again; a way to take a step of faith to improve life for someone else.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”