Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Life and Risk

life AND RISK:
No doubt that life and risk journey parallel to the destination. A term that every common businessmen aware of it “maximum risk maximum return”. Katherine Mansfied quoted: “Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.”

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It may readily be conceived that if men passionately bent upon Physical gratifications, Desire greatly, they are also easily discouraged; as their ultimate object is to enjoy, the means to reach that object must be prompt and easy or the trouble of acquiring the gratification would be greater than the gratification itself. Their prevailing frame of mind, then, is at once ardent and relaxed, violent and enervated. Death is often less dreaded by them than perseverance in continuous efforts to one end.
From an early age, we are all conditioned by our families, our schools, and virtually every other shaping force in our society to avoid risk. To take risks is inadvisable; to play it safe is the counsel we are accustomed both to receiving and to passing on. In the conventional wisdom, risk is asymmetrical: It has only one side, the bad side. In my experience -- and all I presume to offer you today is the observations drawn on my own experience, which is hardly the wisdom of the ages -- in my experience, this conventional view of risk is shortsighted and often simply mistaken.
My first observation is that successful people understand that risk, properly conceived, is often highly productive rather than something to avoid. They appreciate that risk is an advantage to be used rather than a pitfall to be skirted. Such people understand that taking calculated risks is quite different from being rash.
This view of risk is not only unorthodox, it is paradoxical -- the first of several paradoxes that I'm going to present to you today. This one might be encapsulated as follows: Playing it safe is dangerous. Far more often than you would realize, the real risk in life turns out being the refusal to take a risk. In other words, the truly most threatening dangers usually arise when you shrink from confronting what only appear to be the most threatening dangers. What is widely regarded as playing it safe turns out not to be safe at all.

To weep is to
risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another
is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk
exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams,
before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not
being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk failure.
But risk must be taken because the
greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
If you risk nothing and do,
nothing you dull your spirit.
You may avoid suffering and sorrow,
but you cannot learn, feel, change,
grow, love, and live.
In other words, risk is commonly thought of as going against the current, taking the hard way against high odds. In a world of constant change, however, a world where Heraclitus said we can never step into the same river twice, taking risks is accepting the flow of change and aligning ourselves with it. Remember the first paradox: Risk only looks like reckless endangerment. For those who understand reality, risk is actually the safest way to cope with a changing, uncertain world.To take a risk is indeed to plunge into circumstances we cannot absolutely control. But the fact is that the only circumstances in this life that we can absolutely control are so relatively few and so utterly trivial as hardly to be worth the effort.
I trust you understand that when I say risk is actually safety, I'm talking about a certain sort of risk. I'm not advising that you leap off tall buildings in the hope that the operation of constant change will reverse the law of gravity in mid-flight. I'm speaking rather of a sort of risk that actually aligns you with the direction of change.
"The time to take counsel of your fears is before you make an important battle decision. That's the time to listen to every fear you can imagine! When you have collected all the facts and fears and made your decision, turn off all your fears and go ahead!"
— General George S. Patton, Jr.

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