The Two Great Risks in Life


“John Krakauer once told me that there are two great risks in life. Risking too much and risking too little. And I’ve always thought we spend a lot of time focusing on risking too much. But if you’ve found something that you’re passionate about, that is the place to take the risks.”

— Jimmy Chin
Professional climber, photographer, and Academy Award-winning director of Free Solo

Jimmy’s right. We spend too much of our lives trying to reduce risk as much as possible. When in reality, we should shift much of that energy into identifying areas where we’re not taking enough risk. This quote reminded me of Jeff Bezos’ story of how he made the decision to quit his well-paying job and start Amazon. 

“I wanted to project myself forward to age 80. I’m looking back on my life and I want to have minimized the number of regrets I have. And I knew that when I was 80, I was not going to regret having tried this…I knew that if I failed, I was not going to regret that. But I knew the one thing I might regret would be never having tried. I knew that would haunt me every day. When I thought about it that way, it was an incredibly easy decision.”

Jeff was passionate about selling stuff on the internet and decided it was the time to take a risk, not avoid one. 

Where are you risking too little?

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