Not taking risks is the new risk taking

Playing it safe is the advice that has been for generations. Get a good education, get a good secure job, stay with one company as long as possible and work your way up, and then retire with a good pension.

Up to the end of the last century, this was still good advice, but with the way things are evolving, it has now become a risky business going to work passively without having any real plan, hoping that the company will keep you employed until you decide to leave one day.

Often people don’t want to leave their jobs because they feel there is always too much risk involved, believing it is always better the devil you know (thanks Kylie!), but if you don’t take charge of your life, how are you ever going to better yourself.

I feel the reason why many of us don’t like to take risks, is because we feel that if it goes wrong, we’re going to have to live with the situation for the rest of our lives….or forever if you like. But, actually how long IS forever?

Do you remember the summer holiday break when you were at school, in the UK we would get a full 6 weeks, and some countries get even longer. Those 6 weeks seemed like forever right?

I remember the 5 years I spent at secondary school, at the time that seemed like 1000 years! My theory is, 5 will feel like a long time when you’re younger, because if you are 10 years old, then 5 years is the equivalent to half of your life, but when you’re 50, it’s only 1/5.

Up until the age of 30, you are much more concerned about what people think about you, about how you look, and everything you do feels like it is going to impact on the rest of your life. It’s as if you are still preparing for what is going to come next in your life.

Almost the minute you turn 30 though, which can be quite sobering for some people; it suddenly dawns on you that time appears to be accelerating. Something that you thought happened 5 years ago was actually 10 years ago when you take the time to work it out.

I know what you’re thinking…what’s the damn point? Well, they say that when you are on your death bed, you are more likely to regret the chances you didn’t take rather than the ones you did. Think about that for a moment and let it sink in. Again, to quote Richard Branson, “The brave may not live forever, but the cautious don’t live at all”.

If you want to achieve something that you would normally consider out of your reach, you may have to be prepared to take a risk, and take yourself out of your comfort zone. If you think about it, if you only ever do things you are comfortable with, you will continue to get the same results you have already been getting.

Be conscious of any excuses you may start coming up with as to why you can’t take the risk…the kids, your spouse, the mortgage or rent and so on. If you have a burning desire to achieve something, don’t talk yourself out of it. You are the only one standing in your way. Even if somebody else is stopping you, you are the one letting them stop you. There are people who have had far more at stake than you, but have still taken the plunge.

To clarify, when I talk about taking a risk, I mean a calculated risk, not a gamble. Taking a calculated risk means you have studied others who have been where you want to be, you’ve worked out your figures, you’ve created a plan and so on.

With all that said, don’t over think things and start putting it off, otherwise you will be less likely to take action and find yourself back at square one.

So come on, what desire do you have, what goal can you set for yourself, what type of life do you want? Figure out what you can do to take your first step towards your goal. Even as you read this article, the seconds are ticking away, so what are you waiting for?

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