Question of the Day: Do you think it's better to play it safe or to take risks?
|Playing it safe prevents unwelcome dangers|
Risk can lead to new insights
A small risk can bring huge benefits
|Playing it safe makes life boring|
Risk can be dangerous
A small risk can bring huge consequences
It is a hard question to answer because of that third point. The uncertainty of the outcome is what makes a risk, a risk.
I used to take risks all the time. I drank, I smoked, I fornicated indiscriminatly but as I grew older I found myself pulling back, playing it safe. I reached the point where I did not go out if the weather was bad in any way. I mean even a light rainfall was enough to keep me inside and in front of this computer.
I still do that a lot. I live in the snow belt and on days when there is snow or ice on the sidewalks I stay inside even if it means missing an important meeting or three. I used to blame it on my depression but now I think that is not the truth or at least not the whole truth.
Age has something to do with it but mainly I have become afraid. Afraid I will hurt myself and no one will be there to help me. Afraid that if I let loose and do the things I really want to do my family will lock me up or the cops will. Afraid that if the risk brings positive results I will not be able to live up to the expectations of others. Afraid in other words of success and of failure, though in truth I would say success is the more terrifying option.
If you succeed once people are going to expect you to keep succeeding, to do more. At least that is what my mind keeps telling me. "You don't want to be the nail that sticks out". That is true of a lot of people I know. They do not want to be thought of as good at what they do because they will get hammered down some how.
I am sure everyone has heard this spoken in one way or another. It is why the world isn't shiny and bright any more but covered in dull gray and brown mud. No one wants to be the nail that sticks out. Ok, not no one but very few actually step outside their comfort zone and do something brand new just because they want to and can.
It really is a shame that we have come to accept that average is just right and that taking a risk is :) risky business ie dangerous
I really would like to start taking more risks in my life. I am bored to tears, with that in mind I am working on a calendar of sorts which will help me take one small risk every day. It will be available here (free, this blog) I hope by April 1st and no this is not an April Fools joke.