What Ever Happened To Taking Risks?

risk taking

Recently, I’ve had a lot of conversations, read a lot of articles, and all in all, heard the opinions of dozens of people regarding the risk taking ability (or lack thereof) of the millennial generation. It’s something I’ve thought about quite extensively and felt the need to express what I’ve been thinking. My thoughts can be summed up into one question: what ever happened taking risks for the pursuit of our dreams?

risk taking


When I look around it’s not hard to find young people choosing safety over risk taking. I think of all the college graduates who move back into their parent’s homes after college. Their rationale? The job market is tough. That maybe true for practitioners of dying trades, but this is still America and opportunity abounds. Others refuse to do more than clock in and clock out at work and head to the local pub for some drinks with some people they call friends. Their excuse? They’re too tired to do anything else. But the truth is, good things don’t come to those who miss the boat. Good things come to the people who work smarter, later, and harder for the things they dream about. Chrysler already agrees with me on that one.

So I ask again, whatever happened to taking risks for the pursuit of our dreams? Have we accepted our circumstances as limitations? Is a bad economy, a tough job market, or downsizing, digitization, and offshoring what’s holding us back? To that I say, did Christopher Columbus only sail on tranquil waters? If the ocean didn’t look good, did he just say, “I’ll stay at home where it’s safe.” No, he took risks and sailed into uncharted waters and found something beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. As the old adage goes, “with great risk comes great reward.”

Have we given into fatigue, laziness, or apathy like never before? How much longer can we accept the same old routine and the same old set of emotions we feel everyday? People who accomplish their dreams leave those emotions and feelings behind them.

Now I’m not saying that I’m some kind of ultimate pursuer of dreams. As a matter of fact I fight everything within me that says to play it safe or avoid what takes more energy on a regular basis. But what I am saying is that I’m confident in my ability to fight that fight. Furthermore, I know there are others out there who are even more confident than I am.  If you’re one of those people, bravo. You are an example to us all. But if you’re not someone who’s being taking risks in the pursuit of your dreams, now wouldn’t be a bad time to start.

4 Replies to “What Ever Happened To Taking Risks?”

  1. Good read man… I like to think that I take risks every day. I am only 3 years out of college, and I am happier than I have ever been. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like to challenge authority and that I don’t speak my mind when I feel I have a right, better yet a responsibility to say something. I am not about to quit my job and try to join the PGA… that would be a risk that isn’t well thought out and well planned.

    It’s funny that you post this today, as I just had dinner with a guy who is a financial planner. He is a GREAT friend of mine, and we talked about jobs, the job market, and what he does for a living. He and I talked about the risk in investing, and compared it to gambling. That too is about taking a risk… whether investing in your future funds or investing on red over black.

    This makes me thing… and over the next 8-10 months I will be taking some pretty big risks. One risk that will potentially change things for a LONG time. No need to go into it now, but I already know that risk will pay off in the end, regardless of what happens.

    I like to think I take risks… thanks for making me think.

  2. Thanks for the comment Ricky. You’re absolutely right; risks have to be calculated and planned. I think more often than not, risks aren’t grandiose leaps into the abyss but baby steps that get us going towards the direction we’ve only previously dreamed of.

  3. The harder and more creatively one works, the luckier they are. hmmm. I believe that unorthodox thinking will lead to unorthodox results. my observation is that one’s spending, savings and investing patterns dictate the long term growth curve of their balance sheet more so than their income.

    Continue to be countercultural in order to overcome a recognizable societal trend toward mediocrity.

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