The price of opportunity (Quote of the Month, February 2011)
Risk is the price you pay for opportunity.
This line is almost the natural continuation of the last month’s quote. Half of what I wrote in January can also be applied to this quote.
The quote itself doesn’t tell us anything about the outcome of our actions – of course, it couldn’t. But it is important to emphasize that the outcome can really be one way or the other. Taking the risk can either be worth the trouble or not, and your courage to enter a risky business is not enough by itself. There is no guarantee of a positive outcome. If it were then there would be no risk!
Therefore the notion that all fear is an obstacle that needs to be overcome is very naïve. Fear has a purpose of guiding you and preventing you from doing something stupid. It incites you to carefully evaluate and minimize risk. Fear is actually your friend – if and only if you don’t allow it to dictate your life entirely. Otherwise it becomes your jail keeper, and it’s up to you to choose if you want to live that way – imprisoned, half alive.
You see, if you never take any chances, then probably the choices you are making could hardly be worth anything. Nothing that is valuable in life, no opportunity, comes easily and without some degree of risk. However, you have to decide on what risks you are or are not willing to take. You can ask others for advice, you can inform yourself and gather all the available information, but the final decision is yours – every person has to decide for himself. Just remember: if you play, you may win or lose, but if you don’t play, you can never win.
*I don’t know who the original author of this quote is, but apparently Robert D. Selleck used to say it a lot. His son Tom Selleck, an actor and film producer, used that line on screen.