Lessons I Learned from my Dad

When was the last time you evaluated your own risk tolerance?  In life there are all kinds of risks to consider: financial investments, adventures, personal relationships, professional decisions; the list could go on and on. 

I am known to be a “risk tolerant” person, and as such I am often asked about the subject of risk. Most commonly people want to know how I personally evaluate risk in my life and professionally.  How do you know if a risk is worth taking?  How do you know how much risk to take on?  What process do I use to determine if the risk is worth the reward?  Often, these people are looking for someone to help them feel better about turning down the next risky decision they are faced with, but they are looking in the wrong direction.

If risk were a person, I would look it straight in the eyes and say, “Bring it on!”  That’s not to say that I carelessly take on any and all risk, but I do see risk as a challenge, and one that gives me energy and the drive to accomplish things that others may deem “risky.”  I love adventure and the unknown, the unscripted, surprises that come along with getting outside of normal.  I welcome these types of opportunities into my life. This description may leave you thinking I am a bit crazy and not grounded in reality, but actually I think it is just the opposite.  

Lessons from my dad

When I was 31, I lost my father to cancer.  He was my world, and I was a daddy’s girl through and through.  I grieved the loss of our nightly phone calls on my way home from work where I would tell him about my day and get unsolicited fatherly advice.   

I learned so much from my dad during the last years of his life, but the most important life lesson he ever taught me I learned after he passed away.  You see, my father never let cancer win.  No matter how sick or uncomfortable he was, he always made time for his family and doing the things he loved.  His motto was that as long as he was upright and alive, he was going to live life to its fullest and with no regrets.  He did this every day of his life including the last, where he took his final breath beside a beautiful campfire, at his favorite hunting camp, with his family at his side.  Even in his last moments he never let anything get in his way of embracing what life had to offer.

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Author: Renee JensenRenee Jensen is an executive leader and performer with over 19 years of experience developing and leading strategic transformation, innovation, change management, and optimization efforts for healthcare organizations. An expert in public hospital district operations and integrated healthcare systems, she is a trusted and effective leader who values transparency and exhibits the ability to implement cultural change and drive financial results.