Risk-reward continuum, or risk-reward spectrum, an academic representation of trade-offs. Like internal box-ticking, as if some fact based or statistical representation supports best decision making.
I’ve applied that kind of thinking when choosing women I’d like to date.
I tried a chart, assigned point values and rated desirability across a spread-sheet.
And I had a base-line, my retro-analysis of best relationships I’d had. I assigned those point values too for all those things that mattered to me in a relationship.
Most people didn’t make the cut.
When math supported my choice, I moved forward to explore …
I long ago abandoned that method.
While it makes an amusing story, that methodology failed to explain joy.
Failed to explain, find or identify comfort and joy.
These things show up in our lives, shows up in people – not as a risk-factored calculation.
We hear them used together, we see them as opposite axis on a graph when we see the curved line demonstrate that greatest reward grows as risk increases – as danger goes to extreme, so does reward. If that equates to crawling way out on the skinny branches to get the ripest fruit, one has to ask, “is it worth it, is it real, and can I win?”.
Conversely, reward can also grow with decreased risk. Sounds like an extremely dull and conservative approach, but if one is risk-averse, this makes a sound business case. Those who invest in securities, commodities and real estate would agree.
What about with people? What about hearts? What risk are we prepared to take, how safe do we need to be?
It seems to me – greatest risk, absence of a net can produce great rewards. Can also produce pratfalls, belly-flops and cross-threading of nuts and bolts.
Do we reap rewards by pulling in our heads like frightened turtles?
Do we grow, stretch, and earn rewards – even in moments of failure – when we take risks?
What do we risk?
Some (Formula 1 racing, acrobats without a net and politicians) might argue we risk certain or sudden-death?
We all risk that every day just walking around.
Investment world short-sellers bet against something. They pick losers before the market knows it, predict downward trends before anyone else realizes underlying value loss.
They’re worst fear? That things go up, get better.
Too often, people (me included) sell themselves short, leave themselves short-changed and miss out on so much . . .
What is the worst thing that could happen?
Whether or not we say it aloud or write it – don’t we go through this thought process when we try something new, reach out to someone new or embark on a new adventure?
It could be a coffee meeting, without knowing the other party’s reason/agenda.
Could be a new career choice.
Could be setting sail for solo-crossing of deep ocean without skills, tools, safety, protection or insurance in any form – just pure stupid suicide-level risk.
Could be a date.
In all we risk, failure is 2nd worst thing that can happen.
Death is the worst.
If that is true, isn’t everything else a chance for growth, adventure, fulfillment, learning and joy?
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: 3C/38F, the sky is generously all deep blue and clean, steady breeze and sunshine on my back, streets are quiet après-traffic – Gusta’s mood is peculiar (she keeps seeing so much going out the door in boxes and sees me coming back empty-handed late at night … which much be peculiar for her to understand), squirrels in abundance but no rabbits browsing the cemetery so the coyotes must be back ..
Good day sir Mark :) I love this .... “Each page, each change, each choice, each person we allow into our lives, who allows us to enter theirs - changes both. In some ways like a youthful loss of innocence, in others like two old friends holding hands, walking similar emotional and intellectual paths. We could argue that each randomly chosen person we meet is just that - random.” - Thank you :) for this today Mark, much appreciated!, JS, Calgary, AB