Assessing Risk

“I learned how to win a little at a time. But finally I’ve learned this: if you’re too careful, your whole life can become a fuckin’ grind.”


One of the laws of life is “no risk no reward.” Sometimes we hold out hoping for an option that carries no risk and only reward. That doesn’t usually exist except for the ones who run the show and make the rules. The more you feel you have to lose the more risk that is involved. When a situation seems so dire though risk might not even seem like an issue.

I don’t believe risk is the same as sacrifice. With the latter you’re giving up something for something else. With risk you’re giving up something and you might get nothing or worse. In a long enough time line though the difference between risk and sacrifice can become blurred.

Since nothing is 100%, risk is involved all the time. You might think that supposed safe job is risk free but what happens when you’re at the age of 45 and it gets taken away from you all of a sudden or you’re stuck in a cycle of 9-5 misery. Some choices don’t seem risky only because they’re more widely accepted as standard practice. Half the time risk is just the possibility of feeling left out from society. What if you’re at the end of your life and wished you took that potentially life changing risk when you were 25? Can not taking a risk be considered risking your life?

Life rewards those who take risks because most people aren’t willing to take them. The fear of losing overpowers the desire to win. We’re a very risk adverse species when comfortable options are available.

The ones that took a risk and failed will tell you, “just work a job.” The ones that succeeded or who didn’t take a risk will say, “you don’t want to work for somebody for all of your life.” Most people will have a bias.

“I took a risk, I took a risk, you see all the angles, and never have the fucking stones to play one”





6 comments on “Assessing Risk

  1. There are risks, and there are risks. You can push the envelope without breaking it, then assess your new position. Stepping out of your comfort zone does not mean you should jump over a cliff. And, why step out of your comfort zone unless it becomes uncomfortable? To risk change is preferable to stagnation.

    I do believe regret in old age is more attributable to what you didn’t do than what you did.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MrJohnson says:

      I may have pushed the envelope too far recently. I didn’t break it but it was too far.To define risk can be difficult. What one might see as risky the other sees as playtime. I guess it’s all about what you’re comfortable with and your perceptions. Before taking significant risks one should know the consequences involved and ask if they will be able to accept them. Much of the consequence of risk is feeling stupid. Yes, stagnation will eventually arrive so there should be an openness to change. It’s unfortunate many of us have to go through stagnation to realize its soul sucking nature. All this risk assessment seems so complicated especially if you’re inexperienced or in a bad state of mind. It’s easy to see why a straight and narrow path is so desirable.

      I wonder if the deeper regret for what we didn’t do is because of the human tendency to believe the grass is greener on the other side. We all know what happened with the road we chose and often it’s not as exciting as the lofty imaginary possibilities.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t think you can ever know consequences until you commit one way or another. You don’t state specifically how you over-risked, but you ain’t dead yet, so there’s still time to change course or retreat. Maybe you can convert your presumed mistake into a stroke of genius.

        Liked by 1 person

        • MrJohnson says:

          It’s true you can’t know all the consequences. There’s usually some obvious ones though. But yes, many times you end up sitting there and think to yourself how you didn’t see that coming.

          I don’t know. Mistakes are sometimes only mistakes because of the result. I’m not sure if I can convert my presumed mistake into anything but a lesson and a blog post one day.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. My grandmother always used the quote “no risk, no reward”. Never really took it serious, but now I’m getting it. Good post


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s