On the Value of Taking Risks


I’m not a very risk-embracing person. Whatever the safe bet is, I’m likely to take it. I left my television on after some DVR housekeeping, and it timed out and onto live TV. It was “Let’s Make a Deal,” a show I don’t really watch, despite my great fondness for Wayne Brady.

There was a young man, the hope and tension on his face pausing my trip to the “off” button. These shows aren’t difficult to join in progress, and it soon became apparent that he was hoping to win a new car. He was offered a home office with a new computer to walk away from his chance at the car, which he’d snag if a picture of a car waited underneath the last number he chose.

I thought he should take the sure thing, but he held firm. He was going for it.

And he won a car.

I would not have won the car, and it got me thinking about taking risks. His very well could have turned out differently, and he would have left with nothing. Then again, he arrived with nothing, so what did he really have to lose?

For some, taking a risk is no more difficult than tying your shoes, requiring just about as much thought. For those of us, though, who constantly weigh the benefits and drawbacks, plunging off that metaphorical cliff in a wing suit is a paralyzing thought (as I hope plunging off a literal cliff in a wing suit would be to anyone with a functioning brain).

But if you don’t take risks, you don’t get the car.

Need something to read? Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

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