Are you averse to taking risks in life? Are you the one you who love to be in your comfort zone? Are you playing it too safe? Are you leading a risk-free life? Are you leading a mistake-free life? Are you leading a stress-free life? This is also a good way to lead a happy life but it is no life!

Taking risks is generally not encouraged in our kind of social and economic set-up, maybe this is practiced the world over but where there is no risk, there is no reward.


The biggest risk is not taking any risk…

…In a world that is changing quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks. Living with fear stops us from taking risks, and if you do not go out on the branch, you are never going to get the best fruit.

Why are we afraid of taking risks? What makes us risk-averse? Why we do not want to move out of our comfort zones?

The prime factor responsible for this scenario is our need for security. We desire to remain snug in our comfort zones because as human beings, we want to stick to the familiar and predictable. We like things we can control and know well.

As expressed by Hellen Keller said: Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

What we have seen in our lives, is that many people in their lives yearn for job security and avoid changing jobs or places. They feel: What if, something goes wrong? Hence, they yearn for “job security” and such is exactly what keeps most people from living a truly satisfying and successful life. The illusion of safety blinds them to the fact that, ultimately, life is passing them by whilst they are hiding in the bushes. The real living is out in the open.

Only those who will risk going too far can find out how far one can go.

On the other hand, such risk-averse people envy successful people around them. They wonder: How they have achieved so much success, how they have earned so much money? How do they build beautiful homes? How they are enjoying such comforts in life? Their answer is: They are lucky whereas we are not. Not true! They fail to realize what big risks they have taken to achieve all that. How they have toiled day and night to become successful. How they have shaken their comfort zones and taken big risks.

I do not imply taking dumb risks here like quitting your well-paying job to ponder what to do next. How to make more money? How to buy a big house? My point would be: Keep working and keep working towards what calculated risks you can take.

In fact, it is your internal and external churning that will bring out nectar in life. You should be willing to make mistakes, hold unconventional or unpopular positions, never be afraid to take on a challenge, always keep focused on your dreams, and do whatever it takes to achieve them. By taking such risks your personal growth, integrity, and accomplishments are enhanced.

Your risk-taking should stretch your thoughts about doing something that forces you to stretch from your present state to a state of greater personal growth. This applies both in business as well as in our personal lives. Quantum leaps in learning, solving problems, inventing new products, and discovering new phenomena require risk-taking.

There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction. – John F. Kennedy

The key is to learn from your mistakes and keep moving ahead. However, the question that remains is how can you take intelligent or calculated risks. You can take calculated risks by applying certain maths to it. What would be the quantum of risk and what would be your reward? What would be the challenges and what would be the opportunities?

According to John W. Holt: “If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not taking risks, and that means you’re not going anywhere.”

Making mistakes is part of taking risks and it is part of growing.

Calculated or intelligent risks are those where the potential downside is limited, but the potential upside is virtually unlimited. The potential benefits of the risk should outweigh the potential losses if you are to take it. Otherwise, it is not a good risk. Before you jump into anything always understand what you stand to lose and ensure that it is outweighed by what you stand to gain.

You need to understand that opportunities and challenges go hand in hand. They are like two sides of a coin. You must take risks to achieve reward but not without factoring in challenges. As an intelligent risk taker, you need to consolidate all the things that could go wrong when deciding on whether to take a risk. The trick is then to put all the measures in place that you can to prevent those things from happening. But be careful not to want to be a perfectionist in this area. 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.

So, take risks and be HappyHO!