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Does Risk Really Equal Reward? Only If You Redefine “Risk”

In: Business 101,

Life is full of contradictions.

Take the very premise that America was built on:  Fearless determination, courage, imagination, and nothing more than a dream mixed with a pocketful of hope.

America was built on the backs of the stubborn, the tenacious, the rebellious – those who would not accept no for an answer.

They started with a belief.

From that belief grew a vision.

And from that vision grew this country.

Thereafter, the cycle continues to repeat itself:  This country continues to develop and refine its beliefs, which turn into visions, which forevermore keep our society in a perpetual stage of growth.  Though, the word growth might do better to be placed within a set of quotation marks.

However, while on the surface it seems that our core values remain the same – namely that of risk and reward – we are no longer the same, and what constitutes risk and what constitutes reward are no longer the same, either.  The modern day definitions are a watered down version of their historical counterparts, therefore producing a watered down society–one that can no longer differentiate between his/her own beliefs and those of the crowd, and one that will punish the person who does, in fact, notice a contrast and attempts to act on it.

These days, you aren’t rewarded for risk – you’re rewarded for complacency.

It’s evident that while we may preach risk, we really value safety.

However, just because society may not place a high value on risk–REAL risk–as evidenced by the fearful, robotic masses, that isn’t to say that we shouldn’t.

The reason is this:

Only those who go too far will ever know exactly how far they can go.

Think about it.

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21 thoughts on "Does Risk Really Equal Reward? Only If You Redefine “Risk”"

  1. Nina Yau says:

    LOVE IT, Ash! Write when you have something to say. Just love it.

  2. NomadicNeill says:

    What is the risk?

    Do we have to fight saber-tooth-tigers? Cross vast oceans in flimsy boats? Are we in danger of being ostracized from the tribe? I don’t think we need to risk much these days maybe only our ego, but that’s probably a good thing to lose.

  3. NomadicNeill says:

    I agree with Andrew, we all have an adventurous side bred into us. Otherwise we would never have left Africa and explored the world.

    It might be useful to investigate why you identify so much with the followers who are in fear of getting killed rather than with the leader who gets to define the social reality.

  4. Brett says:


    I think we do, but we’ve been bred to also be subordinate to leaders when there’s one in place and to assume the role of leader when there isn’t one. That explains why so many people are nothing but status-quo following machines.

    So while we all have that ‘adventure gene’, I think people don’t express it as much as possible because we follow others too much.

    (Note: I’m talking about the human population at large, not the small set of entrepreneurs and other professional risk-takers)