Tag: Risk

If it excites and scares you…

If it excites and scares you…

Like many, I am full of ideas. I get excited at the thought of executing some of my ideas but most times I avoid attempting anything because I am scared that I may fail. When I travel to new destinations I am captivated by the sights be it the mountains, the rivers, the sea or simply the ambiance of the fun, food and locale. Again I am tempted to indulge but often hold back for I am afraid of something going wrong. Far too often we attempt something different because we are left with no choice. It is also possible that we discovered that there is something new, invigorating and exciting about the new things we attempted. The question we need to answer then is ‘ why don’t I proactively try out something new, different, exciting and scary?’

We are lazy – The easiest thing to generate is ideas. The tough part is executing them. So we lie back and think of various possibilities, scenarios, opportunities. However, if we want to make something out of those ideas we need to get up and work towards it. Sheer laziness, casualness and lethargy on our part makes us dreamers not doers. Laziness manifests itself in the most common way called procrastination.  If one can stop making excuses for not doing something one is passionate about, then one can strive and realize one’s passion and dreams.

We create self doubts – One key reason for procrastination is the self doubts we create in our minds. We question our abilities, we see the challenge as overwhelming, we try to find short cuts rather than hit the road running, we try to plug every loop hole that we imagine in our plans etc. Notice that each of these is self created and a convenient way to fool our mind into thinking that we are being prudent, careful and thorough in our approach. Every doubt is just a self created hurdle that delays our start and often leads to inaction.

We are risk averse – An extreme case of self doubt is rationalizing is that we are risk averse. Risk exists every moment of our life. The degree of risk could vary but the reality is that it exists. Yet we place a premium on certain types of risks which is logical because some risks are higher when the nature of the business on hand itself is fraught with risks. The risk trouble doubles when we imagine all sorts of risks plaguing us especially when one is kickstarting something new. It is technically impossible to over all our bases and yet that is precisely what we try to do when we have to plunge into a new activity. The risk of failure is perhaps the biggest risk we fear.

We fear failure – Among the risks we fear, the fear of failure is what haunts us. A simple example is the numerous people who do not attempt public speaking simply because of their fear of failing. Failure they say is the stepping stone to success but apparently no one wants to use stepping stones. Everyone was to jet set to success and that is technically a near impossibility. Success is earned, learned and sustained over time. Many a time failure is nothing but our inability to keep going and giving up on the cusp of redemption. Occasionally failure is our short sightedness in not responding to change but most times failure is imagination taking us on a ride to nowhere.

We limit ourselves by limiting our thinking. – Perhaps the biggest stumbling block to progress for many, is our self limiting thinking. We begin to aim high and then lower the barrel ending up shooting ourselves in the foot. We question our abilities, show poor trust in our judgment, do not dare to leap frog and keep looking over our shoulder instead of seeing the distant horizons. There are opportunities aplenty, there are challenges that we can overcome easily, there is life beyond the ordinary if only we dare to dream big, think differently and  act decisively.

It is time to TRY what EXCITES you and SCARES you… NOW

Try these:

If you could change your profession or life list out the three alternatives you are most passionate about. How about doing yourself a favor and working on pursuing one of the passions within the next one year.

If you won a million rupees in the lottery what will you do with it? Outline a plan. Share it with a friend and see his/ her reactions ( do not tell them that it is an imaginary exercise you are attempting).

List out the three craziest things you have done in life so far. What was the outcome? What lessons did you learn from it?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog


Foolish risks

Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down. Ray Bradbury

The concept of risks and reward go hand in hand; the higher the risk the greater the reward. The trouble is that each one of us has a different perception of risk and obviously if we get it wrong then we are in real danger of paying a very heavy price. Many of us have flirted with this type of risk right from childhood; by banking on last minute studies to somehow cleat h exams and if lucky even do reasonably well too. Many of us despite getting into trouble by taking undue risks still thrive on skating on thin ice at great peril to ourselves. Speculators in general and gamblers in particular get a high by constantly wagering and taking chances.

Risk taking assumes that one has some safe guards put in place before we plunge into it. The more macho amongst us would have their ego tickled if told to ensure the mandatory safe guards and would probably rebel and perhaps heighten the risk factor to become a hero. They not only endanger themselves but put at risk others too by their irresponsible and often foolhardy behavior. What they fail to understand is that risk is quite different from a gamble or a lottery. A gamble or a bet is often impulsive, has a predominant financial angle to it and have far too many variables that have a major influence on the outcome. In the case of a lottery, the stakes are much lower, the rewards reasonable and luck plays the most important role in it.

Never put all your eggs in once basket is an old adage that succinctly captures a key element of risk viz. do not risk everything. Yet greed and power are two emotions that have a major bearing on how one perceives risks. When one is greedy our sense of reasoning is completely obscured by the lure of big returns and we ignore the risks involved or rationalize it conveniently. When drunk with power a person’s sense of control and influence takes on a falsely inflated proportion which when pricked can send things into a tail spin and a crash landing is the obvious ending. Often the arrogance of a person goads him/ her to take undue risks far beyond one’s own abilities and when things go wrong there is no safety net to cushion the free fall.

To take reasonable risks, one has to be pragmatic and at the same time have the courage to widen the scope of our comfort zone.  When one is pragmatic the chances of ensuring that we have studied the risks carefully is very high. More importantly the true natures of the risks are clearly understood and a fall back/ safety mechanism is put in place. A pragmatic person will only have reasonable expectations and therefore take on only a reasonable amount of risk. To ensure that we get a decent reward one also has to be a risk taker. That is where courage counts. There is always some danger lurking around but once we know the extent of that danger, and we have made arrangements to minimize that, then one needs to have the courage to take the risk. Without courage there will not be any risks taken and then we would be risking not latching on to some fine opportunities.

Remember: “Thoughtless risks are destructive, of course, but perhaps even more wasteful is thoughtless caution which prompts inaction and promotes failure to seize opportunity.”Gary Ryan Blair

Try this:

  1. Evaluate your investments and outline your risk profile. Consult a good investment consultant to guide you about your risk profile and align it with your age profile. The younger you are the more risks one can take and as one gets older the mix changes.
  2. If you were forced to go with friends to a casino how much would you spend gambling? Will you get influenced by the high spending by some of your friends? Would you be under pressure to spend more by friends who chide you and suggest that you are stingy?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

The risks of not taking a risk

And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more. Erica Jong

We are all familiar with fence sitters who believe that they are very safe by not committing to anyone and thereby taking minimum risks of annoying anyone or being held responsible for any decisions.  On the face of it the strategy looks good, but in reality when the mud settles, the fence sitter has a status almost akin to that of a traitor and for no one trusts him/ her. This is just one of the many downsides of being risk averse. Each day brings about a fresh set of challenges and there are risks of varying degrees every moment. Obviously it is human nature to avoid all risks possible and to venture only if there is reasonable chance of mitigating the risks. However in a fast paced world the changes taking place are stupendous and we cannot simply wait and watch; this means we have to commit and that is a risk by itself.

Making a commitment is the ultimate test of risk taking. This is because once the commitment is made there is no turning back and even if things are going downhill, we cannot make a U turn and reverse the pledges made. Commitments are made based on certain understanding, certain assumptions and a whole lot of trust. A misunderstanding can prove costly, as will a wrong assumption and a breach of trust will fully negate the original commitment but those committed cannot turn tail for there might not be any escape route or exit provided for. In today’s day and age, one of the biggest commitment is the marriage wows. The world wide statistics show that the divorce rate is fast catching up with the marriage rate; thereby showcasing the big blot on the institution of marriage. The risks in marrying as so real that today pre nuptial agreements have become a hedge against the risk of marriage.

If we observe those actively trading in the stock markets we would notice that they are driven by the urge to take risks. No doubt the lure of filthy profits is the key motivator for the stock traders but it is their craving to take the risks and beat the odds that really stimulates them. Someone on a losing spree, is often tempted to risk double his money in order to recoup the losses. This is an extremely risky strategy but by not taking that risk, the chances of recouping are almost negligible. A venture capitalists on the other hand has perfected the art of risk taking. They see opportunity in radical ideas, new technology, innovative strategies etc. and they study it in depth before taking the risk of funding some of these concepts. Venture capitalists are very clear that unless they take calculated risks they cannot function. However they are also clear that they need to spread their risks and so they fund a slew of identified ideas knowing fully well that a couple of them will fail, but they are confident that the vast majority will be hugely profitable and their risks are well managed.

In our own lives some of the most risky decisions pertain to our educational choices, career choices, marriage, family, retirement plans etc. It is imperative to note that whatever the reasoning or ultimate decision we are taking a risk. In most cases we have the freedom and choice to take the decisions but if we don’t, then the risks are almost certainly thrust on us by circumstances or fate. Why leave that risk to chance when we have the opportunity to take calculated risks?

Remember: “Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.”  General George S. Patton

Try this:

  1. Make a list of things you are passionate about but never attempted. Choose one of the items and work out a plan of action to indulge in it and if possible take it up passionately. E.g. Learning to waltz or playing the trumpet or running a marathon
  2. To get a first hand feel of risks go once to a casino or a derby or an auction and participate in it to the best of your ability. Be aware that you risk money but perhaps you will also experience the adrenaline flowing when your stakes are high.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com