Risk… an excerpt from the soon to be released book:
Motivation for the World, One Word at a Time by Gary A. McAbee
By definition, the word risk is tied to uncertainty because it is not associated with a definitive answer or outcome. We cannot think of risk as an indicator of a positive outcome. Nor can we use it to avoid a negative outcome. Consequently, we should not use risk alone as an ultimate decision-maker in our lives at all. Instead, risk should be studied and maybe even calculated as one of many factors in our decision making processes. Risk has a part in the success process, but not the final say!
In my opinion, risk is just like fear. Although the words have different meanings, both have the power to propel us forward, or hold us back. A great way to understand risk is to learn it in the same way we learned about fear: by breaking down the definition into smaller pieces. Once we have a working definition, then we can learn how to use risk to help us become more successful. We can start by looking at the first part of the definition of risk: exposure to the chance of injury or loss.
What exactly is exposure to the chance of injury or loss? Exposure simply means something is present. This does not mean it will happen. We are exposed to danger in numerous aspects of life, yet we do not let these dangers stop us from living. We drive our cars with thousands of motorists on our roads and highways every day. We are taking a risk due to the potential of getting into an accident every time we start the ignition. We are “exposed to the chance of injury or loss.” How many of us consciously decide not to drive only because of this exposure to potential injury or loss?
This single example proves that we calculate risk levels all the time, and then act upon whether or not we can live with the level of risk we face. If we perceive that the reward outweighs the risk, we usually take a chance, regardless of exposure to the chance of injury or loss. The reward of driving is we can move from point A to point B to do what we have to do. As an example, the reward of driving to work is getting paid for being there. Getting paid is a victory! It outweighs the risk of facing driving hazards! This proves that we always measure risk, even when completing the most mundane tasks…
How do successful people use risk-taking as a means to achieve great things? In most cases, successful people take calculated risks instead of blind leaps of faith. Calculated risks are another way of saying examining situations from various points-of-view before making decisions. The best-of-the-best gather as many facts and bits of information they need to make an informed decision. How about this: some of the information they gather includes their own dreams and vision, passion and goals. Successful people do their homework and increase their knowledge to leverage risk. They build courage and motivate themselves to take risks even if their decisions may not turn out as planned…
Affirmation: I will take calculated risks that will allow me to take positive steps toward my dreams and goals.
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