All around us, there are signs - are you watching? paying attention? Eventually, when we make decisions, get opportunities or something happens, we look back, and realize there were signs all around us - good or bad.
Just like seeing signs for the ocean being rough - green, yellow or red flags, sometimes, the secret to success is stepping back and getting an objective view and evaluation of the environment. Sometimes you can do that yourself, but other times you need to enlist the objective feedback of others. Either way, taking time out to "see the signs" can be helpful in navigating and making the most of your future or that of your family, team or business.
Take risks, but know the consequences and possible outcomes.
I watch people approach the beach. I watch them walk past the waring signs. They know it's bad out there, but they go anyway. We make choices every day - but we don't always consciously consider the consequences - or seriously consider our own abilities and think about how the environment or a particular situation affects them.
I was skiing just a few years ago. On my way down up to the top for the 2nd run, I recognized that my knees hurt and I felt funny. I went anyway. On the same section of the run where I fell the time before, I had a horrible accident. I knew I something was off, so was it worth doing again?
I don't know - you can't go back, and you never know if you hadn't made choice "A" if choice "B" would have brought a situation better or worse. If I had have taken a different route, who knows, I could have been hurt even worse - I don't ever think about "what if" - I am simply reminded that all actions have consequences. You shouldn't spend too much time second guessing the past, becuase it's done, but you can learn from it.
For the future, be sure you are considering outcomes and doing the things that have consequences you are willing to live with. Life is all about trade offs - cause and effect, action and reaction, intended or unintended. It happens al the time, so do your best to consider outcomes and make decisions with those in mind.
Considering outcomes and risks is not just about assesing the potential bad, it's about considering the potential good - the pros - the upside. Some people stay paralized in their life and career becuase they are't creative or bold or positive enough to get excited about the upside to the degree needed to drive action. Why do surfers brave the currents? Because although they know the risks, the upside of the experience, to them, is well worth it.
Take personal responsibility, initiative and caluclated risks to do great things and shape both your life and the world around you.