100 Day Challenge: Intelligent Risk Taking

In the beginning of this lesson, Gary Ryan Blair states:

No mountains can be climbed, no hearts can be won, no opportunities can be seized, no books can be written, no elections can be won, and no victories enjoyed without risk.

I'd like to give a caveat to this statement. In our entitlement society, the boundaries between risk and reward, between rights and responsibilities, between choice and consequence are being systematically stripped away. In the name of social justice, we are being forced to live in a society of extreme injustice.

How can taking from those who earn and giving to those who don't be called “just”? How can allowing the same benefits to those who put it all on the line and those who show up to do the minimum be “right”? How can giving trophies to those who win and those who lose be called “fair”?

In spite of the cultural insanity we are experiencing, the conscience still knows the difference.

Those who are given handouts they didn't earn, do not value the reward. They waste and abuse the product of the sweat of someone else's brow far more than they would their own.

The union worker who demands a pay scale above his skill set, who expects to dictate benefits from the owner who mortgaged her house, spent countless sleepless nights, and poured her emotional energy into the startup will never give up personal gain for the good of the company — and will never be able to recreate the success he stole.

The trophies given in scoreless tournaments to everyone from top to bottom are discarded at the bottom of a dresser drawer. The stories of the “thrill of victory” and the “agony of defeat” will never be passed down to the next generation from these rigged, feel-good games.

Given the understanding that our current cultural sway pretends not to understand these universal truths, we can still learn from what they teach us. In the real world — not manipulated by partisan politics and government by guilt assuagement — Blair's statement holds true. There is not real victory without the risk of defeat.

One of my favorite scriptures is 2 Nephi 2:11:

For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so…righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.

Without opposition, there is nothing. There is nothing bad, but there is also nothing good. Indeed, without the bad, how would we identify the good at all? It exists only because of the contrast between the two.

Given that you must risk in order to succeed and grow, managing that risk with common sense and wisdom will be the most efficient way to move forward. Develop a tolerance and respect for the risk in your life, and embrace intelligent risk taking. Look for the type of risks where the upside outweighs the downside. Don't let fear keep you from moving forward on opportunities with high potential positives and minimal negatives.

Face the facts: there is no free lunch. Every decision, every transaction, and every relationship in your life comes with a cost. It has a sacrifice along with a potential upside and downside risk.

This is one of the most practical lessons in the Challenge. Use the four-step “minimax analysis” technique to help you make intelligent risks to increase your personal power!

Join me in the 100 Day Challenge!