Taking Risks, Part 2

Some years ago a well-known outdoor adventure-based learning provider advertised their programmes here as being programmes involving safe adventure. In my book, there is no such thing.

Adventure involves risking failure in attaining goals, as well as exposing yourself to possible physical harm. The challenge and growth benefits are found in our personal leadership when faced with such situations.

A tried and tested psychological tool we use in measuring risk orientation strongly suggests that whether we leap into action is simply based on two broad preferences – do we see more opportunities or more obstacles in any given situation?

What we do next is determined by a number or personal attitudes and mental programs. These are

– how motivated we are in reaching the goal
– how well we solve problems
– how much weight we place on possible drawbacks
– how well we adopt an optimistic mindset
– whether we dwell on past glories and failures versus how forward looking we are.

If we see more ‘opportunities’ in a given goal, we will be more motivated and direct more energy towards that goal. Other, energy enhancers include having a compelling goal that will stretch us, but not be a wildly unattainable one. This can be universally applied to simple challenges like losing personal bodyfat, or a corporate goal.

The other energy source we have is the ability to persist, and bounce back. this resiliency is also linked to our ability to find our way around obstacles, and constantly re-frame challenges in positive ways.