100 Ways To Live A Better Life – 11. Learn To Take Risks

Your life may be so boring and tasteless because… err, you made it like this? When was the last time you tried something really difficult? When was the last time you challenged the odds doing something risky? Do it now.

The ability to take risks is a fundamental ingredient of your life. We often associate the reward of a certain action by the risk involved. If there’s no risk, we usually don’t value the result either. So, we end up feeling that we live a life without value.

Taking risks is not easy (doh!). It’s not a game and it should not be treated like this. You can lose some stuff in the process, but you can also win other stuff. Exercising your risking abilities is one of the most rewarding, yet consuming, I admit, ways of enriching your life.

No risk it, no biscuit, they say, and they say that for a good reason. 

How To Learn To Take Risks

I have to confess that I have a very high tolerance to risk. Which means, in other words, that I like risk. A lot.

I discovered this the hard way, when I was very young. For a couple of years, when I was a student, I indulged in gambling. Well, it wasn’t a full addiction. It didn’t cost me a lot of money, but it did cost me a lot of time and energy and self-esteem.

That’s how I discovered that I wasn’t there for the money itself, but for the thrill. I loved the feelings I had when I was “winning”. I was yearning for the sensation that, at some certain point, the reward can multiply exponentially, given the fact that I would accept a much lower chance to get that reward.

Because that’s the definition of risk: the bigger the reward, the lower the chance to get it. Think lottery, for instance. It’s the most popular, the dumbest and most useless form of risk taking.


Because someone else controls the odds. Think about it: you can’t control what’s happening in a lottery drawing. You can only hope you will be the only lucky winner of a huge pot, from 20 million other people.

I can hear you already: so, why are you advocating risk taking? If there’s quite certain that, by taking risks, you will most likely lose, then what’s the point? Are you a masochist or something?

Nope. Not even remotely.

I do this because there is a way to take healthy risks. And by “healthy risk” I understand stuff that “seem” risky, but, in fact, it’s not. It just seems risky because it’s so different from the current status quo. It’s on a whole new level. It’s disruptive. It’s like winning the lottery, only you won’t have to gamble.

And that way is the way in which you can control the odds.

In my case, I finally understood this after I started my own business. It seemed like a very risky thing for me, but only because I didn’t have all the knowledge and experience to make it work faster and smoother. Making huge amounts of money was so far away from my comfort zone.

But, as opposed to gambling, there was a significant part of that process that was controlled by me.

I was in control of the services in my company. I could also control my own level of education, by keeping learning. I could control my discipline.

I couldn’t control the market, the currencies, the clients, of course. But there was a big part of the stuff that I could control.

That’s what I mean by taking healthy risks. Pick your challenges carefully. Don’t go for areas where you can’t control the odds. Don’t became a pawn in someone else’s game.

Instead, try to find stuff that will be hugely rewarding, if you can stretch yourself to a point that seems unrealistic now. Like, if you never ran before, think at running an ultra-marathon. If you were an employee for the last 5 years, start being an entrepreneur. Start your own business.

Yeap. It’s risky. But, boy, that thrill when you make it, it’s awesome!

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