Why Risk Is Vital For Life

Lately I have been bouncing around some theories. 1. Boredom is the opposite of happiness. 2. Taking risks eliminates most (if not all) boredom. 3. If you want a full and happy life then take more risks.

Simple, right?

But let me clarify what I mean by risk. Risk IS vital for life but but I don’t mean that you have to live a risky life where everyday has to be an adrenaline infused adventure of skydiving, bungee jumping, swimming with sharks and the like. No… not that risky.

Instead, maybe risks that are more calculated (and safer) are what are necessary. You don’t have to physically put yourself in danger but you definitely should take the leaps of faith that are needed to propel you forward in life.

These theories just rather came to me the other day when I was reflecting on my life for the past year. For starters, I realized that I have NEVER been this happy in my entire life, ever. There are plenty of reasons that are right on the surface for that, I live in an awesome place, I have an amazing life-partner, my daughter is for all intents and purposes all grown up and is such a beautiful person… I have my health, and my job is doing something that I love, I am passionate about, and everyday I get to help people.

Yes, life is sweet, but the reality is that these are just external situations and circumstances… Do they enhance my life? You had better believe it, but these “things” are not the true source of my happiness.

Aside from being grateful for all of the wonderful things in my life, which is a huge driving force in being happy all by itself, I realized the greatest reason that my life is so full of happiness and is so fulfilling is that I am not BORED! Boredom is hardly ever a thing in my life anymore and has not been for quite some time.

When I look back on my life and I recall the least happy times and when I was the most miserable, boredom is quite often the common theme. My job, though it paid well, was busy but is was also boring as hell. My relationships, while “dramatic” were for the most part boring too. And if I had to guess, all around, I was probably a darned boring person to be around as a result.

I settled into everything in my life and was content, or at least I thought I was, to do the 9-5 everyday and to endure things just as they were, and guess what? My life did not have any components of risk to it at all.

What changed for me? Why is my life more exciting, less boring, and much happier now? I decided a few years ago to take a risk, to give it all up, and to take the chance to make my life the masterpiece that I could have only dreamed about.

More than just the risk of leaving a career spanning decades; giving up most of what I own; moving across the state; starting on and focusing on my own business; having to rely on myself to support myself… beyond all of those risks, there are also the risks that I experience every day that makes me feel alive and happy.

Being and entrepreneur, and self-employed, I don’t have what I would call a steady income. I don’t get a paycheck every two weeks in the same amount year around… Every week and every month, the numbers change. Sometimes it is scary, of course, but it does add a level of excitement to life.

Every day I am trying to find new ways to grow my business, reach new people, and find new clients. Sometimes that requires vulnerability as I am putting myself “out there” in the public eye; again, something else that is exciting involving risk but wards off boredom at the same time.

Of course, these are just examples of what I did and are doing that drives up the risk and therefore the happiness in my life. Trust me… this was not by design nor exactly planned. Yes, I wanted a happier life, and yes I knew that I was taking risks, but to be honest, the relationship that exists between the two were not clear to me until just recently.

Now, I don’t necessarily advocate you do the same exact thing as I did, or how I did it, but I do recommend examining your own level of happiness in relation to the number and degree in which you program risk into your own life.

If you never step out of your comfort zone, you may end up just sitting in your chair, watching television, and bored for the rest of your life. Try to do something that scares you and makes you feel that sensation of “risk” every day.

Risk is vital for life otherwise; life is just a repeated cycle of wash, rinse, and repeat. If you are not as happy as you think you should be or could be, realize that boredom is the opposite of happiness, and gauge just how “bored” you are.

If you are “bored” then resolve to take some risks, start small doing just little things differently if you have to but add some risk to your life, take some chances and see how it eliminates boredom and enhances your life. Risk drives down boredom while driving up happiness… Risk is vital for life because there is vitality in risk… What risks can you take today and enhance YOUR life as a result?

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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  1. […] Reading that quote, I remember sensing that there was so much more I wanted to do in my life but I was not clear on exactly what that was or what it might look like. What I did know was that I indeed only existed and that I was in fact a very long way from what I would consider living or having a life. I was unhappy, ultimately unchallenged, and bored with life. […]

  2. […] After years of straying from the safe path and assuming a lot of personal risk along the way – I have found my balance between the two and what I have come to believe is that risk is important for life as it thwarts boredom, routine, ruts, and ultimately leads to a happier l…. […]

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