Thursday, January 24, 2008

What Would You Risk For A Better Life?

"If you're not willing to risk the unusual, you'll have to settle for the ordinary." -- Jim Rohn

Some insightful thoughts about risk and life:

Many of us dream of a better life. Perhaps this dream involves being time affluent, having more money, pursuing a meaningful career or being free from health problems. But what would you be prepared to risk for this better life?

Each and every day we make choices that involve some degree of risk, in the sense that these choices could lead to negative and sometimes disastrous consequences. When we love, we risk not being loved in return. When we try, we risk failure. When we invest, we risk losing money. When we take the road less traveled, we risk being shunned by our friends and family. When we hope, we risk pain.

One important way to manage risk is to mitigate (reduce) it... But is risk avoidance an appropriate strategy for managing many of the choices we face in life?

“The dangers of life are infinite, and among them is safety.” -Goethe

What is the ultimate risk? In my opinion, the ultimate risk is living your life in such a way that when you when you come to lie on your deathbed you will have cause for regret. It is therefore important to understand that there is great risk attached to inaction and safety. By playing things safe - for example by staying in a high paying but unsatisfying career - you are actually risking the pain of regret later in life.

This does not mean, though, that you should throw caution to the wind by not properly assessing your own individual circumstances and attitudes towards risk. As this article has made clear, some risky choices can lead to disastrous consequences. But we should always remember that when we risk ourselves, our time, and our careers in the pursuit of a better life, we can accomplish and attain things we never imagined.

What would you risk for a better life? Or, what have you risked and what happened?

See also: How Much is Your Life Worth?

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