This is a topic very close to my heart. In life you get the cowboys, the guys who rush in where Angels fear to tread. You also get the more reserved type of person, who sits back and assesses the situation before making a move.
My whole life I’ve found myself to be the second type of person. I don’t make hasty decisions and so far that attitude has paid off. Some say that being ‘safe’ makes you boring. I don’t think so. Safe != predictable. If you take the time to study your situation or decision, you will realise what it impacts, and not always what but also, whom!
Deciding to take a gap and pull in front of a speeding bus trying to overtake the slow taxi in front of you on the highway is a good example of risk versus reward. The reward obviously being that you’re no longer behind the slow moving taxi and you can continue with your journey at a faster speed, getting to your destination sooner than you would otherwise. The risky bit is not knowing whether you can speed up fast enough to avoid the bus hitting your car from behind. If you’re not the only occupant in the vehicle, you’re taking a decision on someone else’s life, not just your own.
You have to know what you’re risking in order to know if the reward is greater than the risk. Paying R5 for a lotto ticket when you could potentially win millions doesn’t sound that risky. Fixing your own electrical problems in your house, might save you some money in the short term, but how safe is that in the long term?
I see the ability to think like this, and that it comes naturally to me, as a blessing, for which I am truly grateful. This does not only keep me alive (for much longer, at least), but also, helps me be good at my job!