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Risk and Planning for Success

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Risk and Planning for Success

This audio discusses obstacles to success. In particular, it examines ways of thinking about risk that can interfere with success and points out the importance of planning to create a calculated risk that is more likely to lead to success. About 8 minutes.

As with all the cognitive assistance audios, the more you listen to this audio, the more it creates a pathway in your brain related to success rather than focused on negativity. This audio can assist with a variety of goals whether athletic performance, weight loss, or career focus.

Transcript: Risk and Planning for Success

Success in life is based on taking risks. The most successful people in life have also made the most mistakes because they take more risks. They are willing to try something new, something unproven. They are willing to experiment. And they are willing to fail. Because they don't consider failure a disaster. Instead, they consider failure an opportunity to learn. A failed experiment tells them what did not work which provides information regarding how to achieve success.

If you want to be successful in your life, you need to be willing to take risks. Of course, these need to be calculated risks. A risk, in and of itself, does not lead to success. In fact, without evaluating the potential of the risk, the risk may be more likely to have negative outcomes. Which is why many people avoid risk. They don't understand that successful risk-taking involves calculation and planning. You need to determine whether the risk has the potential to achieve what you want. You need to assess the cost of the risk and the consequences of the risk if it fails and determine if it is worthwhile for you.

Every one has a different gauge for this. You don't have to assess risk in the same way someone else does because the outcome is something YOU have to live with. Just because someone else is okay with risking their fortune or even their life does not mean that you have to do the same. You need to assess what outcome you are okay with.

Risk does not have to be a major undertaking. It can be just stepping outside of YOUR comfort zone. It can be trying something different, something you have always wanted to but didn't for fear of the outcome. It is the willingness to desire something and pursue it.

In fact, the fear of taking any risk, of trying anything different, often shuts down desire. A person comes to believe that they really don't want anything because they have learned they can't have it, so why even bother thinking about it? People learn to not desire, to not want anything.

But that is the first step of taking a risk. Desire. Wanting something. For some people, desire itself has become a risk—the risk of disappointment. However, it is important to see desire as an opportunity and worth the risk of disappointment. You may or may not be able to have what you want. But by wanting it, by dreaming about it, by imagining the possibilities, you can take the first steps towards it.

So instead of saying “That isn't possible anyway” you can say “Let me just imagine what it might take.” Allow yourself to fully immerse in the dream. Once you visualize it, them you can ask yourself “What will it take to get there?” At this point you might not have all the information you need, so you might need to obtain information. How can you get this information? Who do you need to talk to? Obtaining the information may even involve risk for some people because this could be outside their comfort zone. However, keep in mind that knowledge only provides you with possibilities. You still haven't made the decision to proceed. The information helps you calculate the risk.

Once you have all the information you need, you will see the steps to achieve what you want. If you don't see those steps, there still may be gaps in the information. You may need to fill in those gaps by obtaining more information until you can clearly see the steps.

When you do have the steps, don't automatically dismiss your ability because some of the later steps may seem beyond what you are capable. Look at the first steps. Ask yourself “Can I do this first step?” and ask yourself “If I follow the plan, will it prepare me to do the things I can't do right now?” If the answer is “no” it may be that you need additional information and other steps to your plan. You want to develop the plan until you can say “All I need to concern myself with is the step I need to take today. Each step will prepare me for the next step.”

About now you might be thinking “Where is the risk? This seems to be all planning.” Which is the point I am making. By developing a detailed well-informed doable plan, you are minimizing risk. That is what is meant by calculated risk. This doesn't mean that there won't be any mistakes or failures along the way, but it improves the chances for success. Also, when errors occur, often it just means that you adjust the plan based on what you learned from the mistake rather than quit the plan entirely.

You also might be thinking “This seems like a lot of work!” Again, you are right. The romanticized version of success being due to luck is inaccurate. The belief that success is due to being in the right place at the right time is not true. Success comes from making sure that you are in the right place at the right time—it comes from making your own luck by being prepared.

If you want to be successful, you want to create the belief that you CAN be successful. The best way to do this is to create a plan for your success. The more detailed the plan, the more doable it becomes. The plan allows you to be able to say to yourself “I CAN do that!” From there, if just means taking the next step in your plan.

Kindle Books by
Dr. Monica Frank

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