Everything we do has risks. Everything. Sometimes the risks are very small, sometimes big. You may leave your house today to go about your day. When you walk out the door you take a risk. Might you get run over? If you decide to stay in, you’re taking a risk. Will you have a heart attack on your couch due to a sedentary lifestyle?
Most decisions are made with no thought about the risks. For most of our decisions, that’s fine. For lunch, will you have tuna or noodles? It probably doesn’t matter.
When you think about it, we take way more risks than we ever knew. Go out? Stay in? Risks. Tuna or noodles? Risks. Lean in for a kiss? Risk. Tell what you really think? Risk. Stand up for what you believe? Risk. Stay quiet? Risk.
We sometimes refer to people who take big risks as gamblers. Every risk involves a tradeoff. We may get a reward, we may lose something. Gamblers are successful when the rewards outweigh the costs.
How do gamblers win? They take risks where the chance of reward is more the what could be lost. When they do this they know what they have to gain and what they have to lose. They know their odds. Some of them consciously consider each of these factors, and some have this preternatural ability to sense them innately.
There’s another name for people who take big risks: Fools. What is the difference between a gambler and a fool? Read the previous paragraph and someone who does the opposite is a fool.
Now consider your decisions. Are you taking risks that have no reward? Are you missing opportunities out of fear of failure?