Big rewards usually require you to take risks.
Risk-taking is one of the prerequisites for living a life most will never experience — it’s part of the cost of entry.
I’m not talking about taking risks for the sake of taking risks, I’m talking about taking intelligent risks with a purpose.
If you’re considering taking a risk that doesn’t align with your vision or won’t make you better as a person if it doesn’t pay off, it’s probably a dumb decision.
However, if you’re considering a risk that could result in the life you’ve dreamed of and will make you better/smarter/stronger regardless of how it pans out — you might be on to something.
But you won’t know for sure until you make the decision and start taking action.
I can’t tell you what the right risks are for your life, but I will offer some things to consider if you’ve reached a crossroad and are afraid of betting on yourself.
1. Avoid Future Regret
The #1 regret of the dying isn’t something they did in their lifetime — it’s what they didn’t do that fills their heart with regret.
When you spend time with an older person who is full of regret, you can see it in their eyes.
A sad, lingering reflection of what could’ve been.
It might not sound serious right now, but regret can become an all-consuming depression late in life that no one wants to experience.
Instinctively, we know we should take smart risks when we’re young to get the life we dream of, but we’re scared.
I would encourage you to visit a retirement community or talk with elderly relatives to see for yourself the power of regret.
The reality is that a life of regret is far scarier than the short-term consequences of taking risks and possibly failing.
2. You Don’t Have Major Responsibilities (Yet)
If you can’t get yourself to take risks now, how are you going to do it when you have a mortgage to pay and little mouths to feed?
When you’re young, you have no real responsibilities.
Sure, you might have student debt to pay off and you have normal responsibilities that all humans do — but your responsibilities are a fraction of what they will be as you age.
When you already have the responsibilities of a family, your risk-taking becomes a decision between your fulfillment in life and your family’s security and well-being.
The stakes are so much higher.
Look at your life right now and think about the big picture — you probably aren’t as trapped as you think you are.
3. You’ll Never Have as Much Energy as You Do Now
We take our energy for granted when we’re young because we have so much of it.
The idea that our energy would ever be a limiting factor seems silly.
However, if you talk with executives and seasoned entrepreneurs, you’ll find that personal energy level is one of the primary concerns.
For one, most people don’t realize how much time you actually have to dedicate towards being successful, no matter what path you take.
CEOs work ridiculous hours and often are forced to travel the world, constantly waking up in a different time zone.
Again, this all sounds exciting when you’re young — which is why the time to push yourself the hardest is when you’re young.
But if you desire a life of greatness, you will need to push the pace for many years to come.
Why not give yourself a huge head start by taking big risks now, while you have the energy to juggle multiple tasks and bounce back from setbacks?
4. You Will Become More Risk-Averse Over Time
Aside from the fact that we tend to have more responsibilities as we get older, we also become more risk-averse for a variety of reasons.
The primary reason we get more risk-averse with time is that we grow more and more comfortable with our routine and our way of life.
Two decades into your career you likely have a job that pays well and you’ve grown accustomed to your lifestyle. All of a sudden, cutting back on your daily luxuries to invest your money in a business is a lot more painful than it was when you were younger.
Plus, as we age we naturally have less desire for risk. It’s a simple survival mechanism that makes perfect sense — risk is more dangerous when you’re older.
As scary as risk appears to be now, it will only get scarier and more uncomfortable later.
5. Taking Risks Propels You Forward
Intelligent risks move you closer to your big goals, even when you fail.
When you take risks, you force yourself to improve by learning more, working harder, and finding creative solutions.
If you spend two years developing a business venture and it fails, you still have two years of experience and skill-development that you can apply to future projects.
We have this massive fear of failure when we’re young that’s completely irrational because “failure” becomes exponentially more damaging as we get older.
Unless you just completely play it safe towards a life of mediocrity, you’re going to fail at some point.
It’s smarter to fail early and make the necessary adjustments now, rather than putting it off until later when the circumstances aren’t in your favor as much.
P.S. If you want to take intelligent risks, you’ll love my book because your habits will determine whether your risks pay off or not.
99 Habits For Those Who Want it All
This FREE guide includes 99 action steps to get in shape, feel excited to start the day, and accomplish more in less time!
What do you think? Do you agree, disagree or have any thoughts to add? Let me know in the comments below.
Never miss out on new posts like this by subscribing to my newsletter!