Risk as a Way of Life

Every week so far I’ve been trying to find a sort of “theme” for each week. These past two weeks the word risk kept popping up. So let’s talk about that.

Risk is a part of life. Risk is a major part of cities. I can’t imagine all the risks taken every day in Boston. From individuals to small startups and major corporations. Risk makes or breaks. One of my greatest fears in life is to live a life without risk.

When was the last time you took a major risk? I’m not talking about switching up your Chick-Fil-A order, though that can be frightening. When was the last time you lept from the comfort of a current, safe situation into the unknown? This includes, but isn’t limited to: a job change, asking someone out, or saying yes to something you were wayyyy under equipped for.

Now obviously the older you get the more responsibilities you have and the less risk you should take, or so they say. But for those who are still young, we should be taking advantage of this stage of life. Risking big and winning big. Failing big, learning big, and trying again, but never playing it small.

There are many reasons people choose to live comfortably, I’ve narrowed it down to three:

  1. You’re scared of what people will think/say.
  2. You’re afraid of failing.
  3. It’s just easier not to.

1. You’re Scared of What People Will Think Or Say

“In life you have two options. You can do your own thing and stand out or you can do what you’re “supposed” to do and fit in.”

-Casey Neistat.

Think of all the times someone’s perceived perception of you stopped you from doing something. Now think about how stupid that is. So many great ideas wasted. Now there’s nothing wrong with fitting in. There’s something wrong with it when you do it because you’re scared not to. You’re scared of people asking why you’re not going to college so you go anyways because, well everyone else is.

This post is a risk. Everything I do is clouded by this fear. The key is to do it anyway and little by little that cloud slowly disappears.

Just don’t let your decision making be based off of the fear of others or letting them down. It’s not their life and life’s too short to think like that.

2. You’re Afraid of Failing

I’ve got a pretty good post (if I do say so myself and I do) that covers this, but I’ll talk about it a little more. Risk and failure go hand-in-hand. It’s hard to talk about risk without talking about failure, because when you take any risk there are only two outcomes. You either succeed or you fail. When you put everything on black it’s either black or it’s not. When you ask your boss for a raise you either get it or you don’t. Like I said earlier, risk makes or breaks.

Most people live their lives in fear of the second option. Rarely does their excitement of the first outcome outweigh their fear of the second. You can’t afford to live like that.

3. It’s a Whole Lot Easier Not to

Let’s be honest. It’s just a whole lot easier to live comfortably. To never take risks, to never go against the current, and to please everyone. The problem is you’re not on this planet to do that. You’re here to grow and be challenged. The key is to learn that there’s always going to be a reason not to. There is never a perfect time. You just have to realize this and jump anyway.

Update: (Back again mom? Thanks.) This was a shorter post, but I’ve got one for later this week so have no fear! Yesterday marked our halfway point and we’ve been making a lot of progress both individually and here in Boston. The easiest way to keep up with the day-to-day stuff is here. And here’s a link to the previous post.

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