Happiness Is Risky Business

5 Best Practices of Happy Risk-Takers
Published on October 22, 2012 by Angie LeVan, MAPP in Flourish!
By definition, risk defies common sense. C’mon, it’s not exactly rational to jump out of a plane (unless it’s groundbound and you’ve got a parachute), gamble in the midst of a bad economy, scale mountains, bungee from a bridge, or drive 30 miles over the speed limit—just for kicks. But there’s a tantalizing element to risk. An element of swagger and seduction. A provactive force that flirtatiously compels us toward the irrational: the thrill of the unknown.
Point blank: while risk doesn’t always make sense and despite the fact that many people have a hard time managing the uncertainty that comes with risk-taking, risk does make life more interesting, more engaging and quite frankly, more exciting. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t enjoy a stir of excitement at least every once in a while? But does risk-taking make you happier?
We’ve been taught our whole lives that risk is a bad, bad thing. Why? Perhaps because risk can lead to failure, and we tend to believe that failure itself is a bad thing. And why should we believe otherwise? Society labels people as either not-at-risk (good) or at-risk (bad). In fact, our brains are wired to be alert of risky situations (and for good reason). Thus, it seems quite paradoxical to include risk-taking as one of the primary behaviors that leads to the ‘good life’.
Despite its bad rap, risk-taking is essential to learning what your limits are, to growing as an individual and to cultivating a thriving life. Risk is something to be fully embraced and celebrated! Without taking risks, it’s impossible to learn the skills that enable you to thrive in life, like learning to manage emotions in uncertain circumstances – which life is full of. Unfortunately, some people indulge in reckless risky habits like drunk driving and excessive gambling. That’s not the kind of risk I’m advocating. Most of you, however, dream of taking risks wrapped in the package of a cross-country move, a new romance, a bold careerchange or an exciting adventure like traveling to far and exotic places. And that’s the stuff I want for you! The stuff – good stuff – you can have if you read on! Click here to continue reading.