tba,  in rough rough but might be able to get the idea or read outside articles

One of the most murky, either promoted or discouraged, issues is about taking risks.
Is risk good?  Maybe because it is exciting or it is to be admired or it is a cultural imperative?  Is risk bad?  Maybe because it'll devastate a person, ruin them, destroy their happiness?  Or are either of those comments valid? 

Let's clear up the idea of risk.  Skip down below the boxes in order to read on.  Just glance at the risk boxes on the way down, then read the discussion and come back.

Objective:  Be clear about risk, which are legitimate and which can be reasonably taken.

I'm not trying to cover all types of risks, but heed the advice in the "real" risks section.

What I am trying to do is have a person see that when his life is run by fear it is provably true that he is run by false fears.  No, this is not contestable as the evidence is plentiful that any person living in anxiety, stress, and fear is not operating in the reality of a low risk (modern world).  The problem is not the circumstances, other people or the world, but it is the belief system and viewpoints of the person him/herself - and those can be corrected.  [Of course, that is one of the key purposes of this site.]


I will not take risks if they seem too big and too real.  But what risks are ok to take and no big deal?   That's what I need to identify if I am to live a fully alive life.

When I am not really risking anything real, as if in a movie or on a roller coaster (which touches and stimulates some primitive brain pattern), then there is no real problem, just a tingle, when we don't add a "danger conversation" to. 

If I lose the chance to have (or I never achieve) a big expectation made, have I even lost anything at all?  No way, Jose!!!!

How can you lose something you don't have?  You can't.  What a sham it is to think you have!  How did we make up that one?  [Read Unrealistic Expectations; The Unhappiness Gap; and finally What I Have For Sure (consider the "hypothetical" losses we create in our minds)

If I am physically safe and there is no direct effect, then the rest is not a risk.


"But what if I get fired and go bankrupt, look at all the time I have lost!".

Time for what?  Watching TV.  Can't you still work, just a little longer to get to your goals and still live a balanced life where you are fully fueled by your Golden Hour.  Can't you still have a better life than the normal mediocre one where it is "dead man walking" or "living in a coma"?

Some of it is just inconvenience which is a problem only if we make it a problem.  It is just a part of life which we do not need to resist or make awful. 

Some of it is simply preferences, like I would prefer to be popular or rich, but the truth is that it is only a preference and not a necessity. 


We have so much.  I would say that we have far more than we could have hoped for, but we know we humans today hope for more.  But if we took the perspective of a caveman, not expecting more and being given far more than he could even have managed, then we have an abundance from which minor givebacks are no big deal.

We simply need cranialrectal surgery to see the reality of this bright world and not to think we should have more, some unrealistic expectation conjured up by our brain and then becoming like a need - such as I need this to be happy.  No, you don't!  Grow up!  Be real!  You have a true vast abundance.  You only need to remember it, to remind yourself of it, such as reviewing this piece:  What To Be Grateful For - A Reminder List Of Examples To Start From.  

The terribleness of consequences imagined is simply non-existent.


If you've taken care of building the core of your life, you'll not starve (and even if you haven't, in the developed world you'll still get something to eat).  So that's no prob, man!


When I die, I die.  Some things I do will cause me to die, but then I'll be at total peace.  It is just a question of when, not if.  And, of course, I would do nothing that I can control that will make dying anything other than very, very remote (like getting on a commercial airliner).

If I die it is just a big so what, at least at that point in time and thereafter, for I'll either not exist or I'll be in heaven with no suffering.  (I have chosen not to take the risk of going to hell, so I'm OK in that way.)


This, of course, is the whole point of this article: to be able to take risks that provide potential benefits, but no guarantee, of course.

See The Reality Of Tradeoffs  to understand that there are always tradeoffs in life - something to be gained and something to be lost or somethinng with less gain than expected, etc.  I get up in the morning and I make myself at risk in some way. 

However, the biggest loss of all is not having lived life fully, not having taken this incredible gift and used it to the max!

But we all know we "should" take risk.  However, psychologically that may not be so easy, especially if

1.  We misperceive what risk is.
2.  We fail to differentiate as to the impact of taking a risk.

(We'll get back to the benefits later, after we've removed the bullbleep from most people's belief system and viewpoint about this.)

Risk:  The possibility of suffering loss or harm.

The possibility of suffering loss or harm is also the very definition of a threat. 

As with threats, we often perceive something as a threat (of loss or harm), when in fact it is not a real risk, but one we made up, with no substance or reality to it.  If we clear up the misperception and/or misbelief, then there is no feeling of risk (or not much, anyway, as sometimes there is a "ghost" image pattern still stuck in the brain for awhile). 

And there is often an inappropriate reaction to a threat when we are stuck in a child-thinking mode, where they were so insecure that even something small would appear to be a big thing.  The truth is that 99% of what we think is a threat has no substance at all or is of such minor consequence that it is negligible - and indeed nothing to fear!!!! 

When we "right size" the risk, we can begin to differentiate as to what is worth reacting to and what is not.  This is similar to the term "small stuff".  It is, once we see it, so small that we might as well say "fuggedaboudit", as it ain't worth remembering or even thinking about it - it won't have a diddly of an effect on us anyway. 

Will this be permanent or temporary?  Embarrassment, somebody not liking me?  A real effect showing up in a tangible way?  Hurt my body?  Badly or temporarily?  Do I recover?  Risk of losing a relationship is that a real risk.

If a person can lose a leg or become a paraplegic and return to the normal happiness level, need I worry about that?  Does it become a temporary or just merely and inconvenience?  

Is a risk a thrill?  A breaking of monotony.  The feel of novelty. 


Risk, in business school, was a bit glamorized.  And some who took some big risks did spectacularly well.  A few I met at the 25th Year Reunion had taken risk and loss - the downside we forget about.  Whether they calculated properly I don't know, but most seemed to have damaged self esteem and to be feeling a bit defeated.  Core self esteem seemed to be a bit hard to sustain in the real world - they needed training on how to have self-esteem and perspective (which is what we're trying to provide on this site).

Anyway, the point here is that risk is, in fact, real.

But we can also recover from it, sometimes just incurring a few extra years to reach our goals because of having started from a hole. 


Of course, you would be foolish not to "calculate" the risk and the tradeoffs and benefits.  Part of the return is just in taking a new step in life - self-satisfaction of being "brave enough", of being self determinate, of being proactive, of extending one's capability.  And some calculated risks that are real are worth taking based on a calculation of Expected Value. (Read the linked piece - it's also about maximizing value in life!)

If you "fail", then you have a sign that you didn't know enough yet to succeed.  So you get to learn more and become more capable, more powerful.  Is failing a risk?  Or is it one closer to a solution... 

Author unknown:  (But which of these are really risks or do they just seem like it in some vague, undefined, made-up, unreal way?)

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental
To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your dreams before a crowd is to risk ridicule.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying. (This one is real, except that it is inevitable and we don't know when, but dying is not the problem, but we would wistfully like to have more experiences and wouldn't willingly give up more time, as that would be foolish.)
To hope is to risk despair.
To go forward in the face of overwhelming odds is to risk failure
But to risk we must, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing is one who does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrows, but he cannot learn, feel, change, grow, or love.
Chained by his certitudes, he is a slave - he has forfeited his freedom.
Only a person who takes risks is FREE

Notes for later

Do I dare risk wasting time, where I don't get anything out of it?  But that seems like relaxation and fun to just waste time, but it is a true loss of potential for the moment.

I will die
new levels in life
Bern's study of the effect of novelty...

Threats And "Fear" - Differentiating As To What Is A Real Threat

Threats To Toss Out Forever - There Is Virtually Nothing To Worry About

The Reality Of Tradeoffs

Outside Perspectives:

(Links can be broken...)

Taking Risks - A coach's viewpoint.

Risk Taking - Fortune Sides With Those Who Dare - Pretty convincing.

The following is an article I will be using for reference for identifying the "blocks" to taking risks, which I will address:  Becoming A Risk Taker

THE UNREAL OR DISAPPEARABLE RISKS (Totally mental constructs)

Link to and read the pieces in the sidebar.

The "fabricated", "in the mind" risks:

Rejection, not looking good, not getting approval.
Failures of no major consequences (part of life and learning)
Not having something I want.
Losing something that has no physical consequence.

These can be understood and "disappeared", as they are strictly "in the mind".


Some things just happen, but they are over, just passing in the night, so to speak.  They mean nothing IF a person is adequately trained in emotion managment - so be sure you are good at that. 


Loss of job (make yourself indispensable, highly skilled)


But I would not do anything to risk them. 


"I have so much that losing a bit makes no real difference.

Positives in life:                                10,000 
Loss, probabley occur on average:      500
New net                                              9,000

If my realistic expectation is:               5,000

Then I am happy, not unhappy.  See Loss and get a realistic perspective on it and on life!


I can piss someone off or have them dislike me (who I am not financially dependent on) and it is a big zero if I have learned to be self-sufficient and not needy of approval.

I do something with no actual physical impact on me, I just see that there will be no true risk to me.  See Notice: Nothing Actually Happened!



-  Ruinous if it doesn't work out or it simply will take too long to recover the time or value lost..
- Too emotionally damaging

Strategy:  Don't do it!


We can survive the failure if it occurs.

Case I. Too unlikely to succeed:

    Not skilled enough (or it will take too much
       time to become skilled)

Strategy: Be sure to ascertain/learn what is the case; no wishful thinking allowed! If it is too unlikely, don't do it!  Watch out for wishful thinking!

Case II.  Odds are reasonable

Strategy: Reduce the risks.

Learn how to be effective
Learn a way to lower risks, do tradeoffs in timing.

Strategy 1:  Learn how to be effective no matter what.

in a sense, this is an "intangible" version of protecting the downside.

Strategy 2:  Protect the downside:

Richard Branson:  "Trust your instincts but protect the downside."   Article  (Link will be broken at some point. Let me know and I'll produce another version of it.)

Strategy 3: Build up your odds of success:

Bill Gates: Have a set of skills that are highly marketable.

My (Keith's) father:  If I lose it all, I know I can make it again. 

There's more, but...

You are foolish if you don't read at least three books and/or seek expert guidance in order to proceed AND then you should be a thorough studier!

At least refer to this site's resources and read Choosing The Right Career/Business - Measure Twice, Cut Once! 


Not achieving enough, disapproval, not getting enough approval, having to be perfect or do things perfectly, and similar types of things of only "made up", childhood type fears - those can run, and "ruin", one's life and emotional well-being.  It is essential that one eliminate those risks by learning what is needed to see their falseness and lack  of real impact.

Read this and relevant links from that page, and you can cure this (note that the flaw is inappropriate dependency): Dependence, Independence, And Interdependce - What Works And What Doesnt.