Embracing risks for personal growth

Embracing risks for personal growth

We live in a world that, increasingly, wants to play it safe — take no risks. (1) The net result is inaction. This psychological inertia deposits you, after some time, in exactly the same place and the same condition you were before, though many falsely believe that the results are different. (2)

I finish university and get a bureaucratic job. Unless I advance in seniority, I probably stop mentally growing after 20 years in the same position. (3) I will be 45 years old with another half of my life to still live. It’s not a very exciting prospect for a human being. But, I will be safe. Given that we live in arguably the most dynamic age in history, it is difficult to believe that this will produce the oft-touted happy life.

I propose something different. Take a risk on you. Venture a chance in the world of possibilities. But the riposte is usually, “I am afraid and don’t know how to begin.” The advice: begin at the beginning — just start. Develop a morning routine. Get up and make your bed, say your prayers, and write the day and the date in your notebook — every day. Reinforce this pattern for 21 days and it will become a habit. After this, you will viscerally feel disquieted if you fail to complete these daybreak tasks.

Then you need a risky opportunity that challenges “the story of you.” Everyone has their own story. It is usually not original and is assembled from the thoughts and suggestions of our family and friends, “You are not brave,” for example. This may be totally not true, but you come to believe it.

This was the experience that I had growing up as a child in an industrial village. Small-town life was very attractive before the advent of the Internet and social media because it was isolated and inward-looking. It was very easy to follow the patterns of daily life — quit high school at 16 or 17, get an unskilled, physically demanding job, make good money, marry, have children, retire, and die.

I didn’t want this life, but I didn’t know how to break free. Fortunately, a man from the shop where I worked was returning to Hungary for a vacation and he took me with him. I stayed in Europe. What changed my story was returning to visit my parents. I ran out of money and had to hitchhike (4) the last piece across Canada. Every conceivable fear — my fear — visited me during my return journey. I will leave this to your imagination.

The result: I didn’t die, but the adventure changed my view of reality and what could be attempted in this life. Therefore, be bold — take some risks! At the very least, you will be further than today. The visionary and author, Helen Keller, (5) leaves us with a thought: Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. 

A closing thought: This week, we spoke about risk-taking for personal growth. We need but a modicum of courage and resilience to begin this task. Many people break trying challenges into manageable pieces. Perhaps you have a very lofty ambition. Your goal can be realized by advancing its agenda on a daily basis. This is how all great writers actually work. Thus, push your work each and every day to reach your aspirations.  

To sum up: This week, we spoke about taking risks in life. 

To be noted: From the Buddha — Each morning we are born again. What I do today matters most.

Just for fun: 

For reflection: 

This week, on your exciting walk, please ponder what risk-taking means to you and your life.

Every day look for something magical and beautiful.

Don’t be a wage slave – critical thinking is great!

Quote: Take some risks and live the life you desire.


1) ‘A bigger paycheck? I’d rather watch the sunset!’: is this the end of ambition?

2) “Insanity is doing something over again and expecting different results.” This witticism — It is called “Einstein Insanity” and is, falsely, attributed to Albert Einstein.

3) https://www.bbc.com/news/health-30115497

4) hitchhiking guide.

5) Helen Keller Speech