“What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

"I'd like to make it a true Daily Double, Alex."

As a contestant on the TV quiz show Jeopardy, I was certain that I wanted to make that big wager — only to be sure, moments later, that I didn't know the correct response. Wham. My mouth went dry; my heart pounded. With that single question, I could have solidified my lead; instead, I lost the game. But I'd do it all again.

I've learned that "safer" choices in life aren't necessarily better choices. Taking the conservative route — when starting a relationship, when picking a career, when making tiny decisions throughout every day — may give me a safety net of sorts. But it also keeps me from owning my decisions. I will not be prisoner to what I think other people think I should do.

Instead, I'll put myself on the line. I'll push myself to really know my views, my dreams. I'll make the best choices I can in each moment, and I'll own those decisions without regret. I've already "failed" in front of millions of people, and I'm doing just fine.

I'll make decisions I can live with. The choices that feel right. I hope to inspire those around me to do the same. If I bet it all, I will be betting on myself.

— Genevieve Sheehan