Article by Mike Anderson (NSBC Founder & CEO)
Living on the edge and taking risk is the key to happiness and success. Almost everything worth doing is risky.
Are you stuck in a comfort zone and just hoping to have a mistake-free, loss-free, and stress-free life? It may sound like the good life, but it is actually the “no-life” way to go. Too much safety and comfort bore me and lead to apathy and a life of mediocrity. You will never get where you want to be if you don’t take risks.
The main reason why we don’t challenge the status quo is because the unknown is riskier and therefore our fear of failure kicks in. This is the seesaw of success and failure – or worse, living an existence of mediocrity. Most ideas never get off the ground because people are afraid to take a risk and fail.
Those who have achieved real success have overcome the fear of failure and often risked the most to get there.
The risk must be calculated and intelligent, and should be constructive and positive. Intelligent risk-taking is to imagine all the things that could possibly go wrong when deciding on whether or not to take a risk. The trick is then to put all the measures in place that you can to prevent those things from happening. Nothing will ever be perfect, so there comes a time when action needs to be taken. You cannot possibly prepare for every outcome. You need to have some faith in yourself and the fact that you will be able to handle whatever comes your way.
Of all the skills in life to learn, I believe risk taking is one of the most important. Imagine how dull your life would be if you never took chances. Without taking risks, you might never have found those great things you have discovered in your life. Everything great in life requires some risk to make it happen.
Becoming a risk taker seems to have a negative connotation to it. The word brings up images of danger, hazards or even loss. But no matter how dangerous the idea of risk taking is, there is an even greater danger of not taking risks. Risks are a key ingredient to living life to the fullest. Fortunately, the skills for becoming a successful risk taker can be learned.
Start small and then go big. The best way to become a successful risk taker is to start small. Just get in the habit of saying yes to new things. Some things might not be as good as you expected, but you’ll be surprised how often you find something great. Once you build up the habit of trying new things, you’ll want to experiment with some bigger risks. If you keep at it, eventually you’ll get really good at taking risks. Your success rate will improve as you will have all this risk-taking experience behind you.
Risk taking and taking action work hand in hand. Learn to take action. Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not that one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one’s ideas, to take a calculated risk – and to act.
Remember the words of Leo F. Buscaglia: “The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.”
Are you prepared to look back one day in your twilight years wondering what you could have done?