Life is a risk. It’s a series of choices and decision-makings with both long-term and short-term implications, it has its own trade-offs and payoffs and rewards and punishments in whatever path you take. In a previous post, I have reflected on life being a big queue, a life of lines with the thousands of smaller lines within it. Aside from life being a life of lines, life is also a risk.
Remember the choose-your-own-adventure books? It taught us to make decisions, on what are the next steps that we will take. Well the book is a rough simulation of life wherein in every turn and page, we are asked to choose and decide. Nonetheless, not much like the book, we cannot always go back to the cross-roads and turning points and choose another path. After finishing one path based from one choice, we cannot go back to the decision point and choose something else to explore that path and adventure instead.
We are lucky if from time to time, we are presented with U-turns, and that we can choose differently from a previous judgment call. But life is not always like that, we do not have Hermione’s time turner for us to retrace our steps. If we did, I’m sure a lot of us will abuse that power.
Life is a series of judgment calls that can either make us or break us in big or small ways. Will you take the MRT or ride a bus? Will you skip breakfast or risk getting late for work? Will you line up on this queue or that one? Which line moves faster anyway? Will you grab this job offer or this girl or this chance, or wait for something or someone better? What if this is the last opportunity? What if you made a call today but a few days after a better opportunity presents itself? Will you sell a sideways stock today, or wait for it to move, anyway you don’t need the cash right now? Coffee or tea or water or coke (again)? Will I eat pork, chicken or veggies?
Will you sleep for a few more minutes or get up? Post it on FB or tweet on twitter or you’d rather remain silent? Will you resign now or bear with your boss for at least another year? Go home early or go home late? Carry that bulky umbrella or leave it at home? Take the shot or pass the ball? Blog this post or keep it to yourself?
All these are just some of the decisions we face almost daily, choices we are asked to make, and risks we are asked to assess and take. Most may not be life-challengers, but some are really do-or-die buzzer beater shots we either hit or miss.
But we need not despair. Risks are inherent but they can be assessed, mitigated and to some extent measured. Taking calculated risks is not so bad, and it will probably take you a longer way, compared to being risk-averse or reckless. In the daily judgment calls and risks we take, hopefully we learn new things that will turn us into better and improving risk managers. As they say, what does not kill you can only make you stronger, as such in our daily circumstances, we should not be hesitant to make the courageous calls, otherwise we will not progress, learn and grow.
As they say, when you stop learning, you stop growing. In the choose-your-adventure books, when you stop choosing, the story is put on a halt. In real life, when you stop choosing, life does not wait for you. Instead, someone else will make the choice for your life.
As a mature individual, I’m sure you won’t like that. I’d rather be in charge with my life even if I’m a work-in-progress risk manager (who’s not, anyway?) instead of other people driving my choices, my course and my life.
Life is a risk. Take it. Live it!