Saturday, January 26, 2013

Risk: Not The Board Game

New semester started well.
I can breathe a sigh of relief.
After the shit-show of the Fall, life is coming together again.
I gotta say, it feels damn good.

Despite the glib complaints I make about my life, I realized something a year ago.
Stressing over the various failures that occur is natural.
It's also completely fucking stupid.

The peppy bullshit you hear about "failing but still trying!!!" is not the way most people can handle the sting of defeat.
It's hard to be confident at something you just fucked up at.
It doesn't have to be that way.
There is a much simpler way to make failure not so damn painful.
Enjoy it.
It seems pretty messed up, I know.
In fact, it's downright cray cray.

It also works.

Many people live life without the fulfillment of our human infatuation with risk.
In economics, we call these people risk-adverse.
In a frat, we call them fucking pussies.
Either way they are boring as shit to study/live with.
They are also trapped by what I call The Fallacy of Personal Marginal Risk.
In normie terms, it means the risk-adverse (consciously or subconsciously) fail to realize that when riskier decisions are chosen, the costs of a misplaced gamble almost always are overblown.
This sounds like generalistic bullshit, but a personal example might clarify.

I've never had a fear of sky-diving.
In fact, once I get the money I desperately want to go.
Bungie-jumping, however, scares the shit out of me.
This is irrational.
While I know the rates of injury or death are similarly damn low, the simple fact of seeing the ground at such a close distance makes the cheaper (and, I'm assuming, just as exhilarating) option much less attractive.
Because although the risks are the same, my personal irrationality skews the perception of what the marginal risk entails.

So what does this have to do with enjoying failure?
If risk becomes more attractive to you, the fear of failure is no longer as powerful.
Taking (smart) risks liberates your mind.
If you know after screwing up that tomorrow you'll take another shot at it, failing simply provides a blueprint for making the chances of marginal success that much more likely.
Remember: your brain makes the prospect of failing seem worse than failure itself.
It's a dick move.

Don't let it make you into a pusspop.


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