Do you know the difference between taking risks and being reckless? There is a huge difference.
Being an explorer is all about taking risks. Being a true explorer is NOT about being reckless. Reckless explorers don’t last long.
I saw a conference once where author Douglas Adams talked about a trip he made to Komodo, looking for the Komodo dragon. Being aware of that the island was not only the home of the deadly reptile but also the home of 14 different types of snakes, half of which were poisonous (some of the deadliest in the world), Mr. Adams and his team decided to visit Melbourne first.
There they met Dr. Sutherland, a poisonous snake expert. When they finally asked him what to do about these dangerous animals, he answered: “…don’t get bitten. That’s the one only thing”… “Gardening with gloves, fishing with boots, traveling with care, having half a dozen people moving in front of you making as much noise as possible”.
(The snakes pick up the vibrations and get out of your way)
“But, what do we do if we get bitten by something deadly, then” Mr. Adams asked.
“Well, what do you think you do?” the Dr. said almost disturbed “you die, of course. That’s what deadly means…”
(You may try to suck out the venom, if you are wondering –the snake poison has a high molecular weight so it won’t be absorbed by the vessels in your mouth, and the acid of your stomach would destroy it- but it won’t necessarily help much the wounded, you won’t be able to suck much of the venom and you might make the wound worse trying)
“The only answer, and I mean this quite seriously, is don’t get bitten. There is no reason why you should. Any of the snakes would get out of your way before you even see them”
This kind of statement may be a disappointment for some people, I know. It was for me when I was young -I read something similar in a book, back when I was a teenager, dreaming about being an explorer, and I didn’t feel any respect for the advice. But, that is the kind of advice I would follow today.
Taking the decision of exploring new grounds (physical or metaphoric) implies taking risks. Just remember that reckless explorers don’t tend to survive. To avoid being reckless, keep your eyes open and question everything.
I already posted about how keeping your eyes open is the first thing you need to know to become a true explorer. Here’s the second thing: question everything.