The Habit of Risk

You don't need to seize the day, when you can politely hold its hand.

The Habit of Risk

When it comes to taking risks - we should, but don't.

Despite a cottage industry of inspiration: BE BOLD. CARPE DIEM. SEIZE THE DAY!

And getting guilt-tripped by the super-rich.

In principle, sure. As Naval says, the best choices are the ones you believe will create more luck.

But it's easier said than done.


Last year, I spent a bunch of time talking with professional gamblers. They surprised me.

For them, risk is pure maths.

Rarely would they bet big. The chase is all about slight risk, and lots of it - as many bets as possible. Over a period of time, you hope to beat the average; land at least 51% in your favour, over the course of thousands of small wagers.

That's not maverick. It's the diligent practice of risk as a habit.

Small bets accumulate over time; with enough patience, you can win millions. Come in too hot, you'll crash.

Constant small risk gives them a great chance of long-term rewards without exposure to huge downside.

Which matters - because huge downside might destroy you totally. And the first thing you have to do to win, is survive.


Those conversations made me realise that every choice we make is an opportunity to take a little more risk.

It might be where to go, who to speak to, whether you choose between the safe option or the unknown (or should I say, the classic or the avantgarde).

Sometimes that means a win. Sometimes egg on your face.

But it's an approach that's easier for me to live with than the pressure of constant big bets.

It's embracing risk like a professional: lots of little mouthfuls, instead of one big bite.

Chances are, everyone else is taking no risks at all.

So over time, it doesn't take much to beat the crowd.

When you think about it like that, it's riskier not to.