But wait! There’s more…
I see the ads all the time. I’m sure you do too. Some product offers a “90 day risk-free trial!” Or maybe it’s 30 or 45 days or whatever, but the idea is that you can try some fabulous thing with no risk.
Ha. Hahaha. Yeah, that’s real funny.
I don’t know about you, but the biggest risk for me is that I’m going to forget to send it back if I don’t like it. Or maybe I’ll remember, but my strong aversion to going to the post office will take over. Either way, those companies count on people like me not bothering to return things they don’t want. They risk that we might return the product, but bet we really won’t. And at best, we might actually like it and they’ll get a return customer out of the deal.
I don’t believe there’s such a thing as completely eliminating risk. If something is worth anything, there is a risk involved somewhere.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.
See, we can create these “safe” lives where everything is controlled and all the emotions associated with risk like fear, rejection, anxiety, disappointment, are held at bay. But they can’t be completely eliminated. We are occupying this whirling ball of dirt with other humans, after all. And as a species we are complex, unpredictable, and prone to mishaps. Risk is just part of life.
Sooner or later, risk will probably not work out in our favor. Probably sooner.
But what about the times it does?
What about the times we dare to lay it all out there, risking far beyond our comfort zone, and it actually pays off big? What about the infusion of brilliant life that rushes through us when we realize that we just cheated boredom and defied gravity?
Yeah. I want that rush. I need that rush.
For me it’s not about eliminating risk. It’s about calculating risk, adjusting my current level of acceptable risk. I want to care less about the things that cause me to choose to live and play small. In fact, I don’t want to care about them at all.
I’m not sure how that happens, but I pretty much think about it all the time these days. Somehow I’ve become convinced that there might be something really good on the other side of “no way” and “I wouldn’t dare” and “I can’t take the risk”, and I’m not sure what it takes to move me to actually find out what it is.
Maybe I’ll just think it to death and then get so sick of it existing inside my head that I’ll decide risk is better than the sound of my own thoughts bouncing around the inside of my cranium.
It wouldn’t be the first time something like that happened.