Gamble, or lose it all.

You read that correctly.

Even if you go through life never taking a bet, you could still lose.

One of the most hidden ways you could lose is by not having the guts to take a chance to begin with.

You might think you’re winning the game by choosing not to play, but that’s an extremely dangerous outlook you could have on life. You think you’re being smart by eliminating risk, but what you’re actually doing is sabotaging yourself and your progress.

You’re denying yourself the chance to get to where you want to be.

The only way anyone ever gets to where they want to be is by doing something that they’ve never done before.

You have to take a chance if you want to move forward, and even if you’re perfectly comfortable with where you are now, either you’ve previously taken risks to get there or you’ve done absolutely nothing and you’re in all likelihood someone who’s just really afraid deep down inside.

I’ll give you something to be afraid of. I want this article to scare you into taking action, because I’m afraid for you to see what happens if you don’t.

A Life Without Risk

Something Gary Vaynerchuk said several years ago stuck with me, mostly because of how funny it sounded, but also because it had real significance and meaning behind it.

He said something along the lines of:

“This is your only chance at life. You could’ve been born as a tree, but you won the lottery and you’re a human. You can pick yourself up and move. If you don’t like where you are, move. Don’t bet on being reincarnated.”

The funny part that stuck out to me was the tree part, but the significant part that stuck with me was the part about reincarnation.

I don’t know if you personally believe in reincarnation or not, but one thing is for certain:

This one life you’re living right now is the only time you’ll ever be in your exact shoes ever again.

If I were you, I wouldn’t bank on being reincarnated. I look at my life right now as my one and only shot. As far as I’m concerned and aware, there are no second chances after this.

And if you look at your life through the same lens, hopefully you see that by going through your life without taking any risks, you’re not actually living life.

A lack of risk-taking in your life means that there’s no adventure. There’s no progress. There’s no excitement to spice things up.

Here’s a few examples of things you cannot do without taking risks:

  • Go on a date.
  • Have friends.
  • Have a job.
  • Travel.

Don’t believe me? I’ll break down each bullet point to really drive this point home.

A Life Not Lived

You tell me what kind of “life” you’d have if you have absolutely none of the above things.

Going on a date:
You can’t go on a date without risking rejection.

It’s obvious if you’re the one asking someone out, but even if you were asked out and you accepted, going on the actual date risks that person seeing your flaws and deciding not to continue dating you. There’s risk in that too.

Having friends:
You can’t have friends without risking a failed friendship.

Relationships of any kind are two-way streets, and healthy ones require effort from both parties to work. To even get started on the path to friendship, you have to risk things not working out between the two of you.

You have to risk that person potentially hurting you, or you hurting them. You risk the possibility of being lied to, betrayed, or ghosted.

Having a job:
The most obvious way you can’t have a job without risk is not being able to have a job because you don’t risk applying for it.

Applications involve risk in the same sense asking someone out involves risk. You submit your credentials. You tell someone: “Look at me. This is who I am. How do ya like me now?” And you put the risk of rejection, the ball, in their court.

Even if the job was handed to you on a platter without a job application process, you risk doing poorly. You risk not liking the job. You risk getting fired. You risk having to deal with a terrible boss or coworkers.

Can’t travel without risking the plane crashing.

Oh, you’re driving? Can’t do that without risking another vehicle ramming into yours.

Oh, you’re going on foot? You can still get into an accident.

A tree could fall over onto you. Someone might attempt to fight you on the street.

There’s risk in just about everything you do.

Toward the end there, it started sounding like a list of why you shouldn’t do those things (haha, not my intention), but really, I just want to highlight how there’s risk in just about everything you do. Even the most insignificant of things can carry risk.

And yet, you do them anyway.

So, what makes the other things like the ones I listed above so different?

Sure, you could argue that they carry much more risk than the average everyday concept or decision you make, but that doesn’t mean you should be afraid to take your chances and shoot your shot.

The life you seek is on the other side of uncertainty.

Like I wrote earlier, I want this article to scare you into taking action, because I’m afraid for you to see what happens if you don’t.

You still have time left in your life to take action and pursue the things that matter most to you. The most significant thing between you and the idealized version of yourself is risk.

Overcome that, and you’ll unlock more than you ever thought you would.