Want results, take risks

Am I the only person that doesn’t understand why some people choose to live a life of fear? Few good things come without risk. I think the world would be a better place if anyone learned to step out of their comfort zone and take some risks every now and again.

Here are a few instances from my life, in which I took a risk, and reaped the benefits…

Career.

Did you know I graduated with a degree in Psychology, but a concentration in pre-medicine? That’s right. I wanted to be a doctor. Specifically, a psychiatrist. I did really well in my pre-med courses and, come graduation time, was prepared to take the MCAT. But then, a funny thing happened. I got an email from one of my Psychology professors for a job as a Special Agent. My professor thought that I would be a great candidate for the position and recommended I apply. So apply I did (not thinking I’d actually get the job). That summer I worked as a Psychiatric Technician so I could gain relevant experience to what I thought would be a long and prosperous career in medicine. Fast forward three months. It was the morning of my MCAT and I was playing “Eye of the Tiger” to pump myself up for the big test. Suddenly my phone rings. I answer it, and low and behold I received a job offer for the Special Agent position I applied for. I accepted the job offer that morning. I took a huge risk in accepting a job I knew little about, but 2.5 years later I am confident I made the right decision. Although it was always my dream to be called Dr. Ninja, I think Special Agent Ninja has a pretty nice ring to it… don’t you?

Girl

Girl Ninja and myself quite possibly have the most unique/weird/frustrating/awkward/awesome love story ever. I’ll save the story for another time, but I can tell you this; Taking a leap of faith and giving my heart to Girl Ninja was the best decision I’ve ever made. There were a few occasions in which we almost didn’t make it, but through a lot of hard work, and an evolving love for one another, I am absolutely confident every frustrating moment was worth it. There is no one else in the world I would rather be frustrated at than Girl Ninja (aren’t I so sweet :)).

Money

You had to know this one was coming right? What kind of PF blogger would I be if I didn’t tie in money somehow? By investing standards, I guess I am considered a risky investor. 100% of my retirement accounts sit in the stock market. And, as we all are aware, the market can be nightmarish rollercoaster in which it seems the only direction is down. Although I hate seeing my account balances drop 50% in a relatively short time span, I am more than happy to weather the storm. I am confident the risks I take in the market will pay off ten fold come time to retire. In fact, I would argue that I take on very little risk. The real risk takers are the people that put no money in to retirement out of fear or stupidity. They squander away their cash now, but will be in for a rude awakening when they go to retire and have little or no funds available to them. We all know the social security situation is not looking good. Is it really smart to rely on a suffering program? I’ll bet on the stock market over social security any day.

Yes, life is about taking risks, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to go be a stupid-head. If you want to start a basket weaving business and leverage a $100K in debt to start said business, you aren’t taking a risk… you’re just being dumb. Life is about taking a leap of faith, but only if you have done your research and are confident that leap is likely to have a positive outcome.

What areas in your life have you taken on some risk? Have you ever held back from “taking the leap” and now regret it? Would you consider yourself a ‘risky’ or ‘risk adverse’ individual? Have you ever taken a big risk and had it bite you in the butt?

p.s. I’m currently on business in Miami for the next 2.5 weeks. If anyone is familiar with the area and has any restaurants or recommendations on things to do, PLEASE LET ME KNOW.