Let me ask you something, and I want you stop and think about it for a second. When was the last time you really took a chance on something that had a decent amount of risk associated with it? Now also consider, when was the last time you WANTED to do something but didn’t act on it because of the perceived risk? I can guarantee that for almost everyone reading this right now, you’re far more likely to not to act on something you wanted because of the perceived risk than you are to take a big chance and at least try for it. Why is this?!
Now when I talk about taking risks, I am not talking about the decision of whether or not to get up and pee in the middle of the night because you’re too comfortable and pray you can make it until the morning… I am talking about BIG risks: Asking for a promotion/raise, buying a house/property, making a career change, going on a huge trip you’ve always wanted to, etc…
We should always think about risks and rewards when making ANY decisions in life, and think about it even more for the larger decisions. Unfortunately, as humans we usually consider the risks first, regardless of the potential rewards. And if we deem the risks to be too great, we’ll likely not take a chance on it. When considering the above decisions, risks would be along the likes of…
Asking for a promotion or raise:
Potential Risk - What if my boss thinks i'm too greedy? How will I be perceived in the eyes of my superiors?
Potential Reward - More $, better position, better hours, happier work life, happier all around life, etc…
Buying a house/property:
Potential Reward - A place to call home, to make your own and to build a family. Build equity each time you make a payment. Tax write-offs. Potential income opportunity if you rent out rooms, etc…
Potential Risk - What if I lose my job and can’t pay my mortgage? What if the ceiling caves in, furnace breaks, and it turns out we have asbestos? What if I hate my neighborhood/neighbors? What if I buy right before the housing market crashes?
Making a Career Change:
Potential Risk - What if I fail at my new job? What if I don’t like my new job as much? What if I get fired and have no job at all? What if get to spend even less time with my family?
Potential Reward - More money. More Freedom. A job you actually enjoy. Better hours. More time to spend with family. More secure future for you and your family.
Going on a long trip/vacation:
Potential Risk - How much work will have waiting for me upon my return? Do I have enough money to fully fund this trip? Will my job still be waiting for me when I get back?
Potential Reward - Trip of a lifetime. Experience that you will never forget and maybe never be able to do at a later time in life. Find a new country/continent that you love and can re-visit or maybe even live in later in life, etc…
As you can see, there are always risks associated with nearly every single decision you will ever make, some far bigger than others. BUT, without taking chances, you will NEVER see the potential rewards! If you don’t try, there is exactly a 0.00000000% chance that you will succeed.
Sure, not every chance you take will pay off, and sometimes the risks can be quite large… HOWEVER, if you can use each failure as a learning experience it becomes a REWARD, and therefore the RISK is gone!
Take me for example, I took the risk of going to college and took out a massive student loan.
Potential Risk - Will I be broke after college (check - temporarily). Will I have delinquent payments (nope!). Will they keep me from be able to afford things I want? (check! - temporarily)
Potential Reward - Get my Bachelors Degree (Check!). Live out the college experience (Check!). Learn about money and finances and the importance of paying back debt (Check!). Become better about money going forward after dealing with such high student loan debt (Check!).
As you can see, in the end the risk paid off. I am grateful to have gone through the process and grateful those loans were mine and mine alone. I had no help, and now looking back I realize that I needed no help. I am much smarter about purchases now, about making financial decisions, and about being sure to not go back into debt. Without this experience, I would likely still be living paycheck to paycheck, buying anything I wanted, because that's what I thought we were supposed to do! If I had not taken this risk in the first place, I would not have gone to college. I would not have got a decent job after college. I would not have had so many wonderful experiences throughout my years at college. I would not have traveled to Spain to live for 4 months. And I likely would not be where I am today, as it was all just a large chain of events that could have unfolded in an untold number of other ways!!
I guess the point that I am really trying to get at with this article is this: If you want something, take a chance on it! If you fail, it is not the end of the world. You will learn from it and move on, and potentially be better off for it! If you succeed, there will be no better feeling in the world. You will have the gratification of seeing your hard work pay off! And have no doubt, in ANYTHING worthwhile there will be plenty of hard work involved. But the amount of hard work you put into it is directly related to the amount of gratification you will feel once you have succeeded!
DO NOT LET THE FEAR OF FAILURE KEEP YOU FROM TAKING CHANCES ON YOUR LIFE GOALS.
TAKE CHANCES, REAP THE REWARDS
Start today, why wait anymore?! I know for a fact there is something that you want, but you have not taken action yet because you are scared of the risks. Suck it up buttercup, do some hard work and GO GET WHAT YOU WANT!
Thanks for reading,