High Risk-High Reward
I swear for how much I’ve complained about my accounting classes, I’ve taken more wisdom from them…
I’m a student of the humanities. My favorite subjects in high school were English and history. I could spend hours trying to learn a new language, just because. I love culture and music and art and communications. I like to think intellectually and feel deeply.
I think that’s why I struggled with accounting when I first sat down in the introduction course last August. I didn’t want to think in clear cut, easy to define terms. I wanted a challenge. I wanted to see things differently. Perhaps that’s why I’m always able to produce blog posts and thought writings about accounting terms taken out of context. This week’s blog is no different.
Last Friday, I was sitting in class when I heard my professor say something about risks and rewards. According to Investopedia.com, “the Risk/Reward Ratio is used by many investors to compare the expected returns of an investment to the amount of risk undertaken to capture these returns.”
I wish I could say I kept reading, but my eyes glazed over because the next paragraph had numbers and I figured I’d read about as much as I’d need.
I like this idea. I like it a lot. I like it so much, in fact, that after thinking about the idea all weekend, I finally sat down to transcribe this blog on Monday just so I wouldn’t lose the fascination with the concept.
I’m not exactly the best risk taker. I mean, I went skydiving last year, but that’s one extreme example.
What I’m talking about here is every day little risks. If you’ve read some of my previous New Year’s posts--2014 or 2015--you’ll know that I love making quick lists of goals to work on. One of the first “goals” I wrote back in 2014 was the resolution to “do one thing every day that scares you.”
Maybe that’s a lot. Or maybe just by my standards that’s a lot. But then I thought about it.
When I was younger, I lived next door to my best friend. Our neighborhood was full of rowdy kids with too much energy and too much time. My summer day began when the doorbell rang and ended when I burst through the door just before sundown, grass stained knees and dirt covered hands.
We climbed trees that were too tall to reach, giving each other a boost up and hoping like heck we wouldn’t fall jumping down. We ran across streets into neighboring woods, exploring property that was—probably, maybe, definitely—marked for trespassers. We rode our bikes down the steepest hill we could find—pedaling, as opposed to holding our brakes. We had the kind of summer days that leave you covered in sweat, nature, and laughter—the kind of day that demands a shower. When was the last time—athletic practices outstanding—you had a day like that? We didn’t know what fear was. We were unstoppable.
I think every day of my childhood was some kind of leap of faith…so much so that at the time, it was just like living. No thoughts of making my “risk quota” for the day. No worrying about the consequences…just pure unabashed living.
I think I’m very guilty, nowadays, of living safely. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I don’t want to harp against anyone’s life style. It just has got me to thinking. When was the last time you took a complete and utter risk? When was the last time you just went for it? When was the last time you made a decision and genuinely had no idea what was going to happen as a result?
Sure it was scary.
But you did it anyway.
“If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.”
There’s nothing safe about staying where you are or doing what you know. In fact, sometimes the choice of inaction is the most dangerous one you can make.
Stop worrying about what could happen, because if you let that paralyze you from going for it, you’ll never really know. Sure, it might be a gigantic risk…but if accounting taught me one thing last Friday, it’s that chances are you’ll get a gigantic reward.