How Can We Take Better Risk?

Today, we’ll be talking about asymmetrical risk. Bear with me, or you can take the risky route of clicking the tiny ‘X” on the top right corner. Asymmetrical risk is the concept of taking a risk that will produce a return that far surpasses the risk taken. It can potentially change our quality of life greatly. However, it appears that the idea of leveraging asymmetrical risk is not that pronounced, or at least that is how I feel. It is akin to using a lever and prop to move a large boulder. There will be instances when the lever will snap in half. There will be moments when the prop is crushed by the pressure applied. But, there will also be occasions when the boulder is moved. This is a simplistic example, but it is pretty evident that without the presence of asymmetrical risk, it is akin to pushing the large boulder with your bare hands.

Some would say; it is a futile effort.

It is not difficult to understand that we cannot achieve wild success without being an outlier. In order to achieve things that not many has achieved before, you gotta do things that not many has done. In order to be an outlier, it requires us to think differently from others. Easier said than done, I know. However, as we grow older, I am for the idea that we become a little geekier into what we’re keen in to the extent that people simply brand us as a little weird. We can comprehend the concept of an outlier, yet the contradiction steps in. Not many of us are willing to be weird. We want to conform, because conformity is comfort. My opinion is that when we’re presented with an opportunity of asymmetrical risk, we should take it. We always ask the easy question, “What can we gain out of it?” It is time for us to ask a more matured question, “Am I willing to bear the cost?”

If we’re honest with ourselves and are willing to bear the cost, we have already handled the worst case scenario. We have already handled our anxiety.

The thing about asymmetrical risk is that we do not have perfect information. We don’t have the full picture. If we do, it wouldn’t be a risk to begin with. It is like investing in bonds. Not only is asymmetrical risk present in our investment, it exists in our professional and social life. Think about the time when we wanted a pay raise, but was too afraid to start the conversation with our bosses. We knew for a fact that we probably wouldn’t be staying in the company any much longer. We knew for a fact that we would be looking for other opportunities, albeit them being vague at that moment. We also knew for a fact that if they genuinely had the intention to give us a pay raise, they would have done so much earlier. There will be two different scenarios, of which one involves us moving to a different place which we already had plans on doing so and another scenario opening the doorway to greater rewards.

Think about the time you could have simply asked the girl of your dreams whether she’ll be the girl of your reality. Worst case scenario? Rejection, and I’m pretty sure if the foundation has been set, the friendship would still be there. Best case scenario? You get it.

There will be moments in our lives when taking no risk is the riskier thing to do. More often than not, such decisions do not require great feats of action or effort. Coming from personal experience, we’ll need to grow balls of steel. Just a couple of questions, or maybe just 1 important question would do. They are merely words coming out of your mouth, or simply renewable resource (E.g. money for investing). Chances are, you wouldn’t read this piece of content and suddenly make better decisions. You will, however, missed an opportunity or two and desperately claw back at this article and be like — “I should have..”, the very same way I am doing so right now. In the silence of a drive home, failures, especially the ones we’ve considerably accounted for, do not haunt us. Regrets do.

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Terence C.

There is a fine line between fishing and doing nothing. We would like to think that we’re fishing, but the truth is we don’t have the line.