I heard of Bigger and Better when I was a Young Life leader in college. One of the other leaders suggested we play it. It’s a really simple concept - you start off with something small, like a penny, and go door-to-door (or to houses of people you actually know) and ask if they will trade you something for what you have. You compete with other teams to see who comes back with the biggest and best. I’ve seen character-themed waffle irons, dog houses and mattresses come from a single game played over a couple of hours.
You don’t want to settle too early in the game because you might be settling for something that doesn’t even compare to what you could have gotten. Oh, but the temptation to settle comes. You get to a point where you can’t even imagine that the next house would have anything bigger or better. The fear grows. When you had a penny, it wasn’t so hard to risk it for a kitchen utensil. But now that you have a dog house, what would someone want to trade you for that? And it is risky. You could end up with a broken alarm clock if you just take whatever’s available. But, if you’re wise, you could end up with a boat.
Last week on the way home from Pittsburgh, Mike and I mulled over leveraging what we have, to get our lives to where we want them to be. We’ve done it before. Every time we have, I’ve noticed that we’ve sacrificed the comfort we had in order to pursue the hope of something better. For example, we moved from Pittsburgh last March to pursue a different, intentional life here in Raleigh. This month, we are selling our TV on craigslist to use that time more intentionally. I saw the fruit of that choice a couple nights ago, when we laughed over playing Guess Who and deepened our relationship beyond what a typical half-hour sitcom would.
I don’t think we play Bigger and Better enough in life. I don’t mean that we should always be scheming to get something monetarily better. I mean that we don’t intentionally leverage what we have, to get where we want to be - because we aren’t willing to give up the comfort of what we have now.
It’s true that things could get worse if you risk it. But, you know if you keep them the way they are now, you lose the hope of creating something better. There is risk, but you’re smart. You’re not going take a broken alarm clock. Risk is not inherently foolish. You can risk wisely. How else can you create wealth if you don’t risk in some form?
The way to better your future is to wisely risk your current comfort.
This has everything to do with your life and your business. Bigger and better is a mentality. One that doesn’t call you to less - but to more. One that doesn’t ask you to settle - but asks you to continue to strive. One that calls you to not to comfort and routine - but to adventure and risk.
I’m convinced we are made for adventure. If we’re not doing it in wise, productive ways, we’ll do it in destructive ones. We can’t suppress our hearts for adventure. And adventure is inseparable from risk.
One of the best ways to wisely play Bigger and Better in life is to determine what is most important - what you absolutely won’t risk and then leverage whatever you will risk in order to create the business and life you want. For example, I’m not willing to risk my marriage for anything - but my geographical location, my house, my occupation, I hold these as riskable (not a real word, I know) to create a better life. Whether you think about it or not, you’re already sort of doing this. You hold a few things in life as sacred (whether it be a relationship, a career or a business) and you’re willing to sacrifice other things to esteem what you hold sacred.
The problem is that many people hold sacred things they should risk. Things that don’t make them happy. Things that at the end of the day, they’re only holding them sacred because someone told them to.
Most people don’t consider what they’re risking. At the end of life, I think many regret living unintentionally. It’s hard and uncomfortable to give up the comfort of the known for the hope of something better.
But when you intentionally, wisely risk, you do best at Bigger and Better.