In spite of your thoughts after reading the title to this post, let me proclaim: “I do not consider myself a ‘risk-taker’!” In fact, the main reason for writing this post is to learn more about why I should, or should not, be a risk-taker.
Is it possible to make yourself into a risk-taker when you’re not one? How can you be a careful person who takes risks? Is being careful the opposite of risk-taking? Is risk-taking a big business?
Most likely, all of the preceding questions make sense with the possible exception of the last one: “Is risk-taking a big business?” I asked that question because it seems to me that amusement parks with thrill rides, sports like football, performances such as tight-wire walking, etc., all have an underlying risk involved and can be part of a big business. Often times, the thrill from the risk becomes the featured element of the big business. For a specific example, consider Six Flags St. Louis and its twelve thrill rides! And, when Six Flags advertises, what do they often promote? You guessed it, the risky thrill rides! So, why do some of us take big risks or respect those who do take them?
There are some folks who take big risks and appear not to be affected by them. But, many of us feel very uneasy when faced with risk-taking. We may become anxious about the risk. Anytime we take risks in life, there is a possibility of loss which can cause (great) anxiety. But, do risks have to be experiences that cause us great anxiety?
How can we take risks and not have great anxiety? I think the number one consideration should be foolishness. We should NOT take foolish risks! If a risk seems foolish to you and/or those you respect, then, if at all possible, don’t take the risk. Risk shouldn’t be taken just to prove a point. Risk shouldn’t be taken that lacks, or exhibits a lack of, good sense or judgment. In other words, risk shouldn’t be taken foolishly.
BUT, without risk-taking, we wouldn’t be able to live a fulfilling life. WHAT!!!! Yes, we all must take risks. For example, if we don’t, we most likely won’t find our true love. If we don’t take risks, we won’t be able to gain the respect of others. Without risk-taking, we simply won’t realize our potential.
Ok, so what should a person do in order to handle the need for risk-taking and yet, not be foolish? Consider the following four-step non-foolish risk-taking approach.
1) Accept that risk-taking is involved in everything worthwhile.
2) Only take risks that will result in improvement over what you have.
3) Don’t risk what you can’t afford to lose.
4) Don’t worry about the outcome of the risk, but instead focus on the gain or improvement from taking the risk.
After re-reading over these four steps of non-foolish risk-taking, I can’t help but notice how much successful risk-taking depends upon the power of positive thinking. Thinking positively during risk-taking means not focusing on losing, but instead, focusing on gaining, winning, and/or positive outcomes.
Therefore, worthwhile risk-taking that involves something which is an improvement over what we have and that we can afford to lose, is a necessary part of life. With that consideration, it doesn’t matter if the risk pays off, but just that we did the best we could. If you act like a winner while taking the worthwhile risk, then you have won no matter what the outcome – you are a winner at knowing you are the best person you possibly can be!
Please be a risk-taker and write me a “risky” comment. :-)