I was once told that if I jumped, a net would appear. It wasn’t until many years later that I understood what this meant. And sure enough, I didn’t understand until I jumped, so to speak.
We all hear it. “Go after your dreams.” “You only live once.” “Don’t have regrets.” But the risks involved in making a leap of faith can sometimes keep us on the sidelines.
On the other hand, without risk there is no reward.
“I knew I was risking everything, and not for fame or fortune, but to fulfill my inner desire to use the gift I had been given.”
Simply going after a goal full force is a risky move. Why? Because you might fall on your face. You might hear “I told you so.” You might fail. But if I’m being honest—if we’re all honest—not taking the risk means not growing, and never moving forward. It means you’re at a standstill. It may not mean failure, but it doesn’t mean success.
This year I decided to chase my lifelong dream of becoming a full-time singer-songwriter. I had saved money and spent time and resources in creating a team of people interested in what I was trying to pursue. To focus on my music and passion for it, I decided to sell my house. Relationships are important to me, and I still knew that there was a chance I could lose someone special in my life. I knew I was risking everything, and not for fame or fortune, but to fulfill my inner desire to use the gift I had been given. For once, I understood if I didn’t come clean with my own heart that I’d be in a frozen war for so long that it would destroy me.
“This is one risk that, no matter the hardship, makes me excited to see what’s coming around the next corner.”
Happiness is what I’m after. I’m risking all I’ve ever been comfortable doing by ditching my comfort zone and working to create what it is I envision will make me genuinely happy. This is one risk that’s worth it. This is one risk that, no matter the hardship, makes me excited to see what’s coming around the next corner.
Together, my team and I recorded a quality product, and we released my first solo record, The Outcome, in June. Writing it was a risk I made sure I was ready for. I was, in a way, foreshadowing an outcome from these events that led to its creation.
So here I am, writing and reflecting, presenting this material to the world and performing these songs that deeply tear me apart when I sing them. I was scared to let go of those emotions along the way, but I found they were the emotions that kept me from going after my dreams. It was the release of The Outcome that symbolized so much more than the risk it took to stand still. And I know not every risk will offer its rewards, if any, so soon. But I do know I’ll keep taking my chances on the outcome.
Cory Williams is a Greenwood native and alumnus of Indiana University. The Outcome is Williams’ first solo release.