Risk v/s Stupidity

“If you are not ready to take risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary”– Jim Rohn

Here is an interesting scenario. A couple who were in their sixties, after retirement had enough money in their savings account for sustaining the rest of their life. One day, the husband got a call from his long lost friend who told him about how he got rich by starting a restaurant business 5 years ago. Inspired by this, he decided that he also will start a new business. After doing some research he realized that the business would require an investment that will consume all his life savings. When his wife came to know about this, she warned him against his plan as according to her it was a stupid decision, whereas he kept on reminding her about the above quote. They had a heated argument regarding whether this investment was a risk or stupidity?

Was it taking a risk or being stupid?

Though this was an extreme scenario, we all come across such situations where the line between taking risks and being stupid appears to be very light. It becomes very hard to differentiate between the two. The difference between taking risks and being stupid is determined by one’s necessity. Considering the above case, if they had invested the money into the business, it would have had two outcomes. Either they would have become rich, or, they would have lost everything they had. Considering the age factor, it would have become very hard for them to get a job and earn a living. Life for them would have become miserable. They were clearly not prepared to deal with the consequences if their business failed. This is where the whole difference.

Taking risks or being stupid is putting oneself through an uncomfortable situation after evaluating its pros and cons. One should also be prepared to deal with the condition when their actions do not yield the expected outcome. Looking at one side of the coin, acting without evaluating the pros and cons of the situation and not being prepared to deal with the less expected/negative outcome of our actions is stupidity.

 You will definitely come across examples where a person who had taken a risk or acted stupidly had succeeded. But evaluating whether you are in a position to make the same decision or not is very important. The risk for one person may be stupidity for the other.

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