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August 17, 2015

Risk More, Regret Less

Hal photo outside Feb2012You’ve got to go out on a limb sometimes because that’s where the fruit is.” (Will Rogers)

Normally, when it comes to young people, the word “risk” is only used in a negative way. As in, “we don’t our teenagers engaged in risky behavior,” or “our community has far too many at-risk youth.”

What all of these cautions seem to miss is that risk is not just a negative term. Even big insurance companies, who stand to lose millions when their clients make big mistakes, don’t talk about risk avoidance—they talk about risk management. Risk is not something to be avoided at all costs; it is something to be managed. It is something to be carefully calculated, chosen, and executed.

What’s better to be avoided is regret. Regret is an awful feeling. It’s a nasty way of looking backwards that makes you want to curse your former self, and shame your current one.

The truth is that most of our regrets in life aren’t about the risks we did take; most of our regrets come from the risks we didn’t.

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