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October 19, 2015

Risk More, Regress Less

Moving forward

“Progress always involves risk; you can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.”
(Frederick Wilcox)

Going backwards is never really enjoyable. I absolutely hate it whenever I make a wrong turn, and literally have to backtrack before I can make any progress.

Perhaps this is why we can get reluctant to risk as we get older—we’ve had too many moments where risking a new step ended up forcing us to backtrack a little—“Well, I’ll never make that kind of investment again—we lost too much at the beginning, and then had to make it all back up.”

Of course, all of that is assuming that choosing to not risk that kind of step is actually keeping us from moving backwards. But what if we assumed instead that we’re never really standing still?

With aging, inflation, and opportunity costs always ticking with the clock, there’s no such thing as standing still. We’re all on an escalator, facing up while slowly moving down. Sometimes it feels so slow that it seems we’re holding steady, but this is not reality. If we want to move up, or even stay relatively where we’re at, we have no choice but to risk taking a step.

What’s one risky step you’ve been wanting to take? Confronting a colleague? Inviting your spouse to a new experience? Broaching an uncomfortable topic with your teenager? Investing yourself or your money in a new career?


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