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Reminder: Risk = Reward

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If you are afraid of the new, then you are afraid of success.

Seems obvious to us that we can’t follow the career path our parents did, right? We feel so smart when we say that it’s soooo evident, people change careers all the time, you can’t have one employer your whole life, etc. etc. Everythone thinks they’re a total genius when they say this.

The principle behind the statement is true. We just won’t profit using old models. However, we don’t seem to understand how much we rely on old models ourselves.

We still believe in:

– Rising to the top via the usual corporate ladder.

– Becoming self-employed using the same BS methods everyone else uses.

– Following the same relationship ladder as everyone else.

– Taking the popular trips everybody else takes.

Some of these things still work ok, and others don’t. But allow me to make this as plain as I can for you:

The paths in your head are your enemy.

They are paths because they have been taken before by other people, and because they were taken, they are no longer profitable. Someone else found that route. They picked up the pot of gold at the end of that rainbow before you did, and it’s gone now. Get it?

The Tragedy of the Commons means that everything that’s done before is not as good as it once was.

Someone else had that experience you wanted, and you didn’t. It was great then, and now it sucks. Guess what? That’s how things go. That is why I talk about scars.

Some people want you to believe that it’s easy, but it isn’t.

You’ll have to suffer.

You’ll have to break your own programming again and again.

You’ll have to fight everything in your past with every ounce of your being in order to become someone new.

Risk = Reward. There is no other way.

* Filed by at 2:00 pm under strategy


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8 Responses to “Reminder: Risk = Reward”

  1. Larry Says:

    That is so true. Reminds me of a concept referred to as “gatejumping” in this great book that I read… what was the title again… oh yeah: Trust Agents! Just one more reason to check out the book if you haven’t already.

    (For the record, this recommendation is my own idea and I get nothing in return.)

    (And it just occurred to me that I don’t even have to say that, because if you read this blog you know that’s not the way Julien works.)

  2. John Mardlin Says:

    I understand the idea of gaining rewards by clearing barriers that others can’t… but if you’re not looking to conquer the world, following in another’s foot steps need not be that bad, as long as it’s not a path *frequently* taken.

    You also need to consider that for some people,
    simplicity, certainty and security=reward.

  3. John Mardlin Says:

    I think what I mean is; what about the abundance mentality?

  4. John McLachlan Says:

    A risky thing for me would be to do “nothing” instead of always striving.

    It’s like the story of the monk who sat on the side of the road his whole life selling water, FOR NO REASON. And that for him was success, the reward.

  5. Lisa Yallamas Says:

    People can’t keep up if you’re constantly reassessing who you are and striving to *change*. You may improve yourself by *changing* – you may be quite comfortable with *the new* but human beings appear to be the kind of animal that mostly prefers the familiar. People like to be comfortable. When we’re young we’re creating ourselves but when we create that *a journalist*, *a banker*, whatever then suddenly we find we’ve left ourselves behind. The cost of change is as great as the cost of standing still. I think there’s a balance. It’s a choice. I’ve met quite a few well-travelled people who have very little understanding of anything. And I’ve met people who’ve lived in one place all their lives and they are amazing people. When you say “you must suffer” – there is suffering in not changing also. There is suffering in perseverance against forces which do not want change. I witnessed these two opposing dispositions at work in my parent’s marriage. A resolution depends upon give & take. Making that decision is where most of the suffering lies. The execution is *nothing*.

  6. Ric Dragon Says:

    Funny interpretation of “Tragedy of the Commons”. In game theory, at least, TotC has more to do with the idea that people will work in their own self-interest when the stakes are small. This echoes work that Dan Ariely did with honesty… that if people can get away with cheating for small stakes, they will.

  7. Julien Says:

    @Ric — I just looked it up. I agree it’s not the original concept but I think it locks up with it pretty solid. Do you disagree?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

  8. Robert Says:

    thanks for the insight – this reminds what a mentor taught me about fear – Do not keep it in front of you as it will keep you from moving ahead. Do not keep it behind you, as you will always being looking backward and you will never find your way. Keep fear as a partner, alongside of you for you always know where it is and you can keep an eye on it.

    fear must always be recognized and addressed every step along the path.

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