Whether we realize it or not, we all take risks on a daily basis. Some like to call it taking chances rather than risks, whatever works for you. We do so when we decide to use that highway on our way to work, risking traffic congestion. We do so when we try that new place during lunch, risking not finding it agreeable. We do so when we try to make new friends, risking rejection. We do so when we start up our own business, risking failure. We do so when we fall in love, risking a heartbreak.
But why do we do that? Why take risks rather than be on the safe side? Is it because we are so adventurous? Is it because we like to test our own limits? I believe that’s partially true. For one, life would be too predictable if we all took the safe or familiar option all the time. We don’t like a monotonous life, we are always looking for change. Granted, we should be able to make the call when to take a risk and when not to (jumping out of a plane without a parachute isn’t taking a risk, it’s being a fool!) but as a general rule, we all end up taking most risks that come our way. Furthermore, curiosity is a big part of human nature and we feed it by trying new things. Things that, in our right minds, we wouldn’t normally do. There are also the adventurous souls amongst us who cannot resist trying something new, regardless the consequences. And then, there are people like me, people who have learned the most valuable lessons in life by taking risks and letting life happen.
Taking risks also helps us overcome our fears. When we fear something, our rational mind will not let us challenge it. In fact, it tells us to do the exact opposite, flee as fast as we could in the other direction! Were it not for taking risks, we’d all be overcome by our insecurities, our fears and our negative past experiences. We would be encompassed in a thick shell of darkness that we cannot break out of. It is by being brave and taking risks that we reap the rewards that only we benefit from. True freedom, wisdom, growth, self-development and experience all stem from the repercussions of taking risks. By doing so you either achieve something far more fascinating than anything you anticipated going into the experience or you learn a lesson far more valuable than if you had sat on the sidelines. Taking risks requires courage, self-discipline, encouragement, inner strength, self-confidence and confidence in others as well as God. You need to know that you are up to the challenge and that, either way, you are a winner.
But should be blindly engage in such an endeavor every chance we get? I am not one of those who believe so. I believe that you should learn from past experience and past mistakes and put that in effect. If you’ve had a horrible experience at a restaurant, going back wouldn’t be taking a chance, it would be an attempt on your own health. If you’ve never jumped off of a cliff, jumping without instruction and proper research would be suicide. If you have been hurt by a person, going back into the exact same relationship again whether with the same person or someone else would be a life sentence of sadness. If you’ve tried something over and over again and it’s just not happening then maybe it’s not meant to happen. Now, that does not equate giving up, on the contrary, it’s learning from your mistakes. There’s a fine line between wisdom and foolishness, that line is called “knowing when to let go and move on!”. For as long as it feels right, as long as there is hope, as long as there is conviction you should keep trying, you should take one risk after the other and you should not quit. But as soon as you find yourself hurting more than benefiting, losing rather than winning, going at top speed in a downward spiral rather than gaining then it’s time to call it quits, shift your focus elsewhere and move on. Living and taking risks are, essentially, synonymous!
If I hadn’t taken a risk, I wouldn’t have made myself vulnerable enough to experience true love. I wouldn’t have given my husband a chance and ended up with him. I wouldn’t have challenged all the doctors who told me to abort my second child if I wanted to live and ended up giving birth to my wonderful son. I wouldn’t have trusted any of my friends and ended up having the best ones ever. I wouldn’t have overcome my fear of flying and ended up visiting tens of countries and states. I wouldn’t have started my very own business and ended up being successful with rivals who wanted to break me but couldn’t. If I put my mind to it, I can come up with hundreds of risks that I have taken and have given me the most beautiful things in life. But I can also think of hundreds that went the completely opposite way. You can’t really live unless you take risks and you can’t take risks and say that you haven’t lived. So live your life to the fullest … and take lots of reasonable risks.