A Gamble vs a Risk
This past weekend my parents were down visiting. We always have a wonderful time, and one of my mother’s favourite things to do is take a trip to the nearby casino. They go in and hit the penny slots and have a great few hours playing away. Sometimes they win, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes not, but we all practice the rule that you only go in with what you’d be comfortable losing. In other words, you are not going to the casino to make money, you are going to lose it. If by chance you come out ahead, great, but if not, you shouldn’t be gambling any more than you’d be willing to just throw away.
A casino is a gamble. Life, however, shouldn’t be. Too often people let fear hold them back, or try to avoid change, because they feel it is a gamble.
Doing new things, changing your life, expanding your horizons – these are not gambles, they are risks. A risk is something than can be minimized. I jump in my boat and go for a ride on the river. Is there a chance I could hit another boat, or my engine could stall, or I could capsize? Sure, anything can happen. However, I spend time mitigating my risk for these situations. I’ve taken a safe boating course. I know the areas that are safe to take my boat in. I obey the rules of the water. I make sure the boat is in top-notch condition. It may be risky to go for that ride, but I do my best to minimize the risk as much as I can.
Let’s not get confused between these two ideas. In a gamble you can lose everything, in a risk, you can minimize the chances of disaster. It’s fine to avoid gambling, but no matter what, never avoid taking risks. Step out of your comfort zone, shake things up, and invite that change in. You must constantly be moving forward in order to create the life you deserve.