If you’re anything like me, you’re stuck in a web of complicated decisions. The right answer is not clear-cut, and every option is buried in piles of potential risks.
You could date, but you might get your heart broken. You could travel, but you might lose money you’ll never get back. You could quit your job, but you might end up poor and begging for money.
The cost in every decision stings us to the core.
But recently, I’ve come to the hard conclusion that maybe I should spend less time analyzing the risks, and spend more time looking for the refinement in them.
In other words, not all risks are bad.We’re told to avoid risks in life, but maybe risk isn’t the true enemy; a life of complacency and comfort is.
The world consistently tells us to take the path with the least cost to us. We’re continually told that the safe path is the only path, but when I followed down that road, I only found myself suffering from a lack of adventure.
So I’m changing my perspective.
I’m young. I can risk. In fact, I think I should.
I’m tired of the option with the least risk being shoved in my face. I want the option with the greatest benefit.
It’s my soul that matters, not my comfort.
If you’re young like me, the risks you take are often the most formative. Here are five reasons to embrace risk:
1. You’ll prevent fear from becoming a habit
A crazy thing happens when people avoid risk: they come to see risks as evidence they’re doing something wrong. They’ve adopted fear as a standard, and as a result, the safe path is the only path. They can’t see outside their own fear.
A life dictated by fear is a tragedy. A life sprinkled with risks is a comedy. The former has an ending of remorse. The latter has an ending of delight.
The choice is obvious: risk more and see the even struggle between fear and risk. Don’t fall victim to giving too much preference to your fear. It’ll destroy you in the end.
2. You’ll have more time to learn from your failure
Failure has the ability to shatter us or grow us. Unfortunately, as it occurs later on in life, the tendency for failure to cripple us is greater. That’s because you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. In other words, once we’re set in our ways, it’s harder to learn what we need to make failure beneficial.
Failure should be a learning experience. The later we fail, the more deafening the blow is.
If you risk and fail, you’re in a better position for the failure to not be fatal.
3. You have less to lose
Once you graduate college, life starts moving in a funny way. You get married, settle down, get a job, and then all of a sudden, you have payments to make and kids to feed. It all happens so fast. As you grow up, you accumulate more responsibilities.
More responsibilities are not a bad thing. If anything, a majority of them are gifts. But they’re gifts we must value, which means adding them into the equation of whether risks are worth it or not.
Make the necessary risks before life gets ahead of you because as life rushes forward, you’ll have more to lose if you do fail.
4. Great ideas are often born out of great risks
No truly innovative idea is presented without a risk. When culture tells us to the safe path, we ultimately lose the creativity that has shaped the essence of our culture.
The truth is, everything that has changed our culture for the better came with a risk. If you don’t embrace risk now, you might lose the creativity that has the power to continue changing culture.
5. And finally, if you don’t risk, you’ll never change
A friend of mine once told me that life should be transformational, not transactional. I agree with him. I also believe that life becomes a transactional experience when we adopt an attitude of avoiding risks. We then waste our time looking for the safe path rather than the path that’ll change us.
In your heart, you know you need to change if you want to live the life you’ve always wanted. If you run from risk, the possibility of change will escape you, and so will your dreams.
The difficult truth is, all of life is a risk. We would benefit more if we accept this at an earlier age, before it’s too late.
So if you’re struggling with whether to switch jobs, date a certain person, travel the world, or take a summer off, don’t be afraid to take the dangerous path. Time is on your side.
In the end, if you live for comfort, you’ll get just that: a life of comfort. But if you live with risk, you’ll get adventure. And if you ask me, a life of adventure is the better story.