Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Risk Reward

"Fear stifles our thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation. I have known talented people who procrastinate indefinitely rather than risk failure. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins." -Charles Stanley

Are you a risk-taker?

Really think about that question and ask it of yourself again. What you will realize is that all of us are risk-takers. From our very beginning, we are born into an unknown future of which living it is risk in itself. As a teenager we want to drive a car for the feeling of independence. But driving has the risk of accidents. Even with independence is the risk of failing to support one self properly.

Going to college and selecting a major subjects us to possibly making a wrong choice. Marriage and there is a risk of divorce. Risk can be defined in almost every decision we make in life. So in most respects, all of us are risk-takers whether we believe we are or not. What defines the outcome of risk is how we respond to it.

Does risk rule you or you rule it?

So if risk is around us in most everything we do, how is it that some people take additional risks while others play it safe? There are at least two reasons that can answer this question.

One is that we the need for security keeps many of us from taking risks. As human beings, we have a need to want to stay with the familiar and predictable. We like things we can control and understand well. It was Helen Keller who said "Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."

Secondly, fear and doubt keep us from taking risks. For a dreamer, these two things are their worst enemy. The Irish author, Gareth O’Callaghan has this advice, “Do not fear risk. All exploration, all growth is calculated. Without challenge people cannot reach their higher selves. Only if we are willing to walk over the edge can we become winners.

How do we overcome the safety from and fear of risk?

Well, you can start by asking yourself these three questions:

- What would I do if I were being more courageous?
- How will inaction cost me one year from now if I do nothing?
- Where is my fear of failure causing me to over-estimate the size of risk, under-estimate myself and holding me back from greater achievement?

Whatever answers come into your mind, be aware that your answers are trying to point you to a greater future. Only you can create that future by taking bolder, more decisive and courageous actions. There will always be risk involved, just know that our human condition is created to overestimate the size of risk and to underestimate our ability to handle them.

As written by Lao Tsu in the 6th century BCE, “You are capable of more than you think.”

Stay inspired my friends and "Fortes fortuna adiuvat" or “Fortune favors the brave.”

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