- Take a step out of bed can be risky. You could slip and fall.
- Bending over to pick up the morning newspaper can be risky. You could hurt your back.
- Going to work can be risky. First, there is the drive and, then, who knows what could happen at the workplace. It is filled with all sorts of risk.
- Sleeping at night can be risky. What if you don’t wake up…
Risk is everywhere, so we might as well get used to it.
There are degrees of risk, starting at slight risk going all the way to extreme risk, with many points in between.
Just as there are degrees of risk, there are different types of risk. For example:
Stupid Risk. A negative result is well-known from the very first step, yet it is taken anyway. This is, well, stupid, and an unnecessary, avoidable risk.
Dangerous Risk. Taking a specific action results in potentially perilous results, but the results may be worth the risk. These choices and activities need to be thoughtfully planned out in order to evaluate and reduce the risks as much as possible.
In this type, understanding the trade-offs – the risk-reward outcome – is essential. Answering a key question is a must: Is taking the risk worth the potential reward or positive outcome?
Silly Risk. Ever seen Jackass? If you have heard of this show, then you know what I am talking about. Doing risky things to get a laugh or just to get attention, not worth it.
I’ll-Never-Get-Caught Risk. Maybe this is a variation of Stupid Risk. It may add the attitude of invincibility, that only “stupid” people get caught. In the end, this type of risk is always wrong and goes deeper into the type of person you are or have become.
If you do things because “no one is looking,” then you are not looking inside your soul to understand what type of life philosophy you are really living.
Life-Changing Risk. Getting stuck in a life rut is easy to do. Getting out of that rut takes risk, guts, will power, determination… you get the idea. Taking the path less taken is filled with risk, yet many times these can be the most life-changing, spirit-filled choices and actions.
As T.S. Eliot said:
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
Essentially, this is a true statement. “Going too far” may depend on the type of risk being pursued. However, life is filled with risk. We need to accept it. We need to deal with it. We need to embrace it… deliberately, fearlessly, smartly, and aggressively.
Taking the right risks moves our life forward. Sitting in fear leads to stalemate or, simply stated, a stale life.
What types of risk do you see in life around you?