09/06/2016 10:45 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: Is It Worth Taking Risks in Life?


There is a proverb, which sounds in Ukrainian: "He who doesn't risk, doesn't drink champagne" with the analogy in English "nothing ventured, nothing gained." The meaning is quite obvious in both cases: if the person doesn't take any risks in life, he or she will not achieve anything in life. It seems quite logical - only those people who have the courage to take some action and do something in life, without having any certainties or guarantees for the future, will become successful in life. But not everyone is like this. Quite often, when it comes to taking some risks in life, we might feel butterflies in the stomach and become hesitant as to whether or not to take those risks. There is always "what if..." floating in the head: "what if I fail; what if I lose all my money; what if I am making a wrong decision," and so on. There is a rational kernel in all those hesitations. And so, very often, we might be at the crossroads and never know what decision to make. There is always a dilemma: to take a risk and later reap the benefits of one's courage and action, or not to risk one's stability? And is it worth taking risks in life?

While there can't be a 'yes' or 'no' answer to those questions, it's worth looking at a given situation from different angles and weighing all the advantages and disadvantages of taking risks in general, and the financial risks in particular. I am a proponent of a rational approach to critical decision-making, and I believe that emotions should be put away in such situations. If you are overexcited about something, it's much better to push that excitement away for a while and start thinking rationally. I believe such rational approach can help come to the best possible decision.

So, should we take risks in life or is it better to avoid them? On the one hand, if we never take risks, we will not fulfill our dreams, can become bored with life and will not have any rewards; on the other hand, there's a chance that we might fail at something, lose what we've already gained and feel disappointed afterward. While it might be an individual decision depending on the kind of personality and other social factors, I believe that it's worth taking risks in life even though it will always be a 'gain and loss game' with no predicted outcomes.

In the long run, life is all about risks and uncertainties towards the future. Even though we at times think that the future is quite clear, it is, in fact, not. Things that are imagined appear different in reality. Besides, we regularly take smaller or bigger risks in life while performing some action: when we decide to invest money in education, when we make a decision to buy a new house, start a new job, move to another city, etc. It's all about doing something without being too certain about the results.

"You might fail if you do something, but you are doomed if you don't even try," another proverb says. And I agree with it. Really, what will we gain if we don't take any risks? We'll just have a predicted bored life and sooner or later will start hating ourselves for not having done something in life and for being afraid of taking risks. It can be applied to every area of life, and to its financial aspect in particular, as it's an important part of it. If we want to live in a comfortable apartment, drive a nice car, have financial stability during the retirement period and be able to travel a lot, we should earn more money and think about different possibilities of getting some extra income. It could be buying real estate and then giving it for rent, turning a hobby into something more commercial, like selling different hand-made stuff online, or earning some extra money on the stock market. If 'stock market' sounds like something unfamiliar or too risky, one can always find top rated Forex brokers who can help with trading and give some good advice. I believe that before starting doing something you are not quite familiar with, it's much better to ask for professional help; even though there can't be 100% guarantee for positive results, in such a way the risks will be minimized.

Taking risks is quite beneficial as one would never be able to achieve something in life just sitting at home and doing nothing. I think risk-free life can be quite boring and predictable, but at the same time risks shouldn't be taken mindlessly; everything should be thought over thoroughly, and one should do everything possible to minimize the negative consequences of risks, and, probably, think twice before taking huge risks.