A recent study of a group of people over the age of 100 queried the participants as to what they might do differently if they had their lives to live over again. Amidst a number of varied answers, three emerged as common to most, and certainly unveil a universal perspective:

Number one: I would risk more.

Number two: I would reflect more.

Number three: I would build something that lasts beyond my lifetime.

As so often the case with the “laws of threes,” each of these interconnect, even depend upon each other.

Consider career.

If we never take any chances, we never rise above average.

If we don’t stop to ponder the outcome of our efforts and study how we might improve our performance, we can’t possibly learn the lessons necessary to gain better results. We remain mired in mediocrity, punch a clock, collect a check, watch the seasons change—even though we don’t.

What about relationships?

To attain any level of intimacy, we have to reveal ourselves, let our loved ones experience both the good and the more unique aspects of our persona, show our vulnerabilities, our fears, our weaknesses, go through the painful process of bonding through overcoming adversities, allow ourselves to fail so that those who care about us can help us get up, feel empathy and connect on a healing level.

If we don’t take the space to contemplate, we repeat the same patterns in an endless cycle, the same mistakes, the same omissions—which can only yield one possible outcome: the same.

“Same” will never lead to glory.

These seasoned reflections tie directly into the natural law of bounty. First we must seed (originate a crop, risk failure), then we fertilize (nurture, constantly watch and evaluate our progress), and finally we harvest (yield the fruit of our risked labor, enjoy the plenty that stems from our continued observation and consequent care.) If we challenge this process repeatedly, we accumulate the wisdom that enables us to form and mold a healthy relationship or thriving enterprise, something that will withstand harsh tests and mature into lasting greatness.

Unfortunately, the report card on this journey comes out far too late to impact the final grade in any meaningful way. Only a dedicated commitment early in the game will give us the room to cycle through the “risk, reflect, build” formula with enough frequency.

That quiet inner glow that bespeaks a profound bond of love, brings a twinkle and a perpetual smile, or the obvious confidence that accompanies financial freedom, both demand a uniform toll:


To pass this course, we need to hit life’s classroom early.

Perhaps we shouldn’t wait even another, single day.

That’s A View From The Ridge…

Author's Bio: 

Accomplished author and speaker Ridgely Goldsborough writes a Daily Column four days a week which can be accessed at www.aviewfromtheridge.com. Ridgely has written numerous books and educational programs and resides with his family in Florida.