All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger (it’s impossible), but calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer – Niccolo Machiavelli
One of my pet peeves is listening to people who have never done anything to better their lives complain about how miserable they are. They whine that they’ve never been given a chance to grab the brass ring, but they’ve never so much as taken the initiative to get on the merry-go-round. They’re afraid of failure. They’re afraid of ridicule. So they’re to afraid to get off the couch and into the arena. Some of these people break my heart, because they’re otherwise wonderful, smart, funny, talented folks. They’ve just chosen to waste their lives rather than take a risk.
There are no guarantees in life. We are surrounded by forces beyond our control. We have ample opportunities to make valid excuses. I’m under-funded, I’m not as talented as I’d like to be, and I have health issues. So what? I do what I can, as I am able. It beats sitting around waiting for the perfect moment to come along, when the stars are right and conditions are perfect. Conditions will never be perfect. There will always be the risk of failure. That doesn’t mean you give up. It means you think bigger, get bolder, and try harder.
Being decisive is no more than choosing action over inaction. Do something, anything. If it works, figure out why and so more of that. If it fails, figure out why and do less of that. Repeat. Learn. Improve. Move forward. The suffering you may experience as a result of doing something is negligible compared to the suffering you gain from doing nothing at all.