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The Biggest Risk Is Not Taking One: Why A Gamble Is Always Rewarding

Tell me something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on

If you have heard this statement before, you are probably an entrepreneur, a wantpreneur, or simply heard it at a job interview.  What comes to your mind?

I was introduced to this question while reading Peter Thiel’s book, Zero to One. I stopped, read it again, and spent the next two hours thinking about it, with no significant answer, so I moved on.

One year later, I was asked this question at a job interview. I had no time to think or contemplate this rather complicated philosophical question, given my entrepreneurial experience during that year, my immediate answer was: risk is always rewarding.

Now you might think that this is obvious, risk is rewarding, but what is not obvious is that it is always rewarding. Most of the successful people today have taken enormous risks such as dropping out from prestigious schools, leaving their well-paid job, or simply taking a large amount of debt to try something that doesn’t assure them success. But what about those who did not succeed? How were they rewarded?

Rewards are not always financial, it would be sad if they were. They could be anything that we value and can make our lives better, and prepare us for what is coming. Each one of us values different things, some of us value money, others value education, while some people value traveling and meeting people, and some even value all of them combined.

Learning, however, is a reward that is universal and everyone values. How many of us would love to go back to the past and change or undo things? Throughout time we collect wisdom that we look back and think how stupid some of the things we said or decisions we made were (just take a look at your Facebook timeline from 2 years ago). We all learn something new every day, and learning helps us make better decisions for the future. I go to a private US college that costs around 60K per year, and the only reason people pay such a fortune is to learn from other people’s life experiences and their teachings.

Risk is similar to your university; things you learn by taking risks should be valued far beyond that. Taking risk- regardless if you succeed or not- makes you smarter and wiser. Unless you are a person who is prone to repeat the same mistake twice, your risk makes a change in your life. Whether it is going to a completely unknown place, quitting your university, leaving your job or really any other type of risk, it helps you collect an enormous amount of wisdom. It is the journey that makes you a better or more successful person, not the outcome.

And even if we think about it in terms of outcome, you either succeed or fail. If you succeed, great, you made it, now work hard on becoming more successful and help others. If you fail, great, get up, get yourself together, and try again, but now you are stronger than before, and the probability of failure is much less.

Now go out there and take risks. Get yourself into the unknown and get yourself out of your comfort zone. Step into a different world that can change your life and make it more adventurous and risky.

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