Is Life Actually About Taking Chances?


Life is about taking chances. We’ve all heard that phrase before, but I’ve rarely been able to evaluate my own life and find those words to be true. I’m not a risk taker and for the most part I’ve done pretty well for myself. When I was a kid and all my friends were participating in some sort of shenanigans, I was the kid off to the side quietly calculating everything that could go wrong, the likelihood that the wrong thing would happen, the fallout if the wrong thing came to be, and what I’d need to do to get myself out of the situation if the proverbial shit hit the fan. If I felt like the worst case scenario wasn’t all that bad to deal with I’d join in on the fun. If I still felt uneasy after all of my calculating, I’d keep off to the side and watch the party either turn into something great or turn into something else altogether.

And that way of thinking has kept my safe. I have no cavities, only ever broke one bone, and I pay all my bills on time. Professionally, I make a living plotting out how one decision affects the next and can write a case/when statement like it’s nobodies business. Being two steps ahead and anticipating pitfalls is just my thing. But what happens when you can’t see far enough ahead to make a sound decision?

In the past I would just hold pattern and keep to the highways I knew best. It might be foggy outside, but if I have to drive I might as well stay on the roads I know. And that’s fine. In my opinion, it’s the smartest decision someone can make. But it may well be the most boring decision as well.

I’ve got a decision coming up and not a ton of time to make it. On one side of the door I know everything there is to know about the room I’ve been standing in for so long. I know the ins and outs and while that room has never provided me total joy, it has kept me content for quite some time. On the other side of the door is the unknown. If I walk through, I might not like what I see and that scares me.

So, is life about taking chances if you want to be happy? I still say no. Life is about taking educated chances. Gather your data, put in the research, and when you’re ready to take the first step into the unknown do it with the confidence that you can make the best out of anything. And I think I’m ready to do just that.