Not Taking a Risk Is Sometimes the Biggest Mistake We Can Make

Ever since I was a child, I have struggled with my weight. If you have been following me for any amount of time, you might know that. If you only are familiar with me over the last few years, you might have no idea. I am proud of this because in May of 2021, I achieved my ideal weight, and I have hovered in that area for the past three years. Getting to a healthy weight was only part of my struggle; maintaining it is where I have constantly been challenged.

But this does not come easy to me. I don’t want to blame my genetics (although they might not help!), but it is really the habits I have had in the past that led me to get to an unhealthy place. Only when I could change my lifestyle to be something not based on a fad but something I could maintain over time did I find results. Yet, I am constantly tweaking my routines and trying to get better, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally. Starting each day with moments of gratitude or taking 10 minutes to read each day has helped bring more peace to my mind. I am very different today than I was five years ago.

You need to know that I never started one thing and found sustained success in totality. Continuous trial and error and mixed results led me to find solutions that work for me today. What I am most proud of is that I never gave up. In fact, I recently bought this shirt, and I try to live this message:





That resonates because I feel I live this mantra.

I recently shared this video on Instagram and said,  “The biggest risk we can take is not trying something new when things aren’t working for us.” If you are unhappy today, the worst thing you can do is keep doing the same thing that currently got you to the place of discontent.

This is true at an individual and organizational level. 

One of the conversations I had recently with a district was that they found resistance from staff when trying to implement a new initiative. I asked them, “Is what you are currently doing working?” The answer was a resounding “No!”

I responded, “Great! You already know what doesn’t work, so trying something different should be a no-brainer.” It seems simple because it is.

In education, I don’t think we should throw out practices from the past if they are working for our students (and us) today. Nor do I think we should do constantly try “new stuff” just becaase it is new. But if what you are doing is not working today and has consistently not worked, doing something different is the only way to improve things. It doesn’t mean the first strategy you try will work. Most likely, it won’t. But, as the saying goes, doing what you have done will get you what you already have. If what you have isn’t working, personally or at an organizational level, then not doing anything is the biggest risk you can take.

And when you think of it that way, risk isn’t really that bad.

I defined risk as the following:




The worst thing we can do is continue to do the same thing when we know that routine, practice, habit, or whatever is not serving us today. An “unknown better” does take some work but I have learned over the years that the biggest regrets I have had in my life are often the result of things I wished I would have done in the past.

Time will pass whether you choose to do something or not. Doing nothing and letting that time get away while feeling miserable or unsatisfied, will always be the biggest risk we take.


(Check out the short run reflection on Instagram below!)



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A post shared by George Couros (@gcouros)

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