How Do You Evaluate Risk?

Every day, we must evaluate risk. Our entire lives are a balancing act between what we want, and what we are willing to risk to get it.

As children, we start to learn this lesson. For example, you might want to express yourself by something you say or do or wear. But are you willing to risk being embarrassed in front of other students?

Later on as adults, the risk/reward calculation continues. Maybe you want a better job, that pays more or offers new challenges. So, are you willing to risk leaving your stable, current job?

Sometimes, risky actions are rewarded. You might risk rejection by approaching a romantic interest, but are rewarded with a date. But risk sometimes leads to negative consequences. Maybe your offer of a date gets rebuffed.

As a result, we get used to figuring out: is the reward worth the risk? Can I live with the odds of failure versus the odds of success?

Now, more than ever, we need to perform these internal calculations. Unfortunately, we don’t have much experience in determining the likelihood of contracting the disease. No one does, because this virus is new and unknown.

As some restrictions are loosened, we all must weigh the risks against the reward. For instance, let’s say I want to eat out. Is the seating indoor or outdoor? How close will I be sitting to other customers? Will my server be wearing a mask? Are the kitchens cleaned routinely?

And pretty much all public activity will have to be evaluated in this way. Do I have pre-existing conditions? Am IĀ  likely to end up in the hospitalĀ  — or even die — if I get sick? Similarly, how likely are my loved ones to survive an infection? How badly do I want these groceries, or that paycheck, or to hear that band?

This is something that is going to play a more important part of our lives going forward. How do you evaluate risk?

Related questions: How important is intuition? What is necessary to change your mind? Why are people afraid of death? Freedom or security? What are you willing to sacrifice?

What Has The Last Decade Meant To You?

The reactions to the passing of time is as different as there are people. As we move from the decade of the 2010s and into the 2020s, consider what it has meant to you.

A lot can happen in 10 years. While there have undoubtedly been highs and lows, joys and sorrows, is there a lesson you can take from the decade as a whole?

Certainly a lot happened on a global or international scale. From the global economic slowdown to start of the 2010s, to the growing environmental crisis, it is obvious the world is increasingly interconnected. And increasingly threatened.

And yet, on an individual level the story may differ, perhaps even drastically. Moreover, trying times can often trigger personal growth. While the world may have struggled in the last 10 years, the lesson we take from that struggle may well be hopeful.

How would you write the story of the last 10 years? Would it be positive or negative? How might that impact the next 10 years? What has the last decade meant to you?

Related questions: What is the best of the decade? Who is your MVP for the year? What is time? How have you changed? What is your five year prediction? Ten?

What Is The Best Of The Decade?

From music to TV to books to movies, there’s a lot of content available. And that’s not taking into account science, politics, or sports. Among everything you have experienced in the last decade, what is the best?

Share why if you wish.

What Makes A Friendship?

When you connect with someone else, it can feel like magic. The start, and the deepening, of a friendship can feel both natural and exhilarating.

And yet, defining what exactly “friendship” means is not easy. For example, you want some common interests, or you won’t have a similar frame of reference. On the other hand, you can’t be too similar, or else you have nothing to learn from each other.

Similarly, in order to be friends, you need to enjoy each other’s company. So both have to be interesting (at least to each other), but one can’t overshadow the other.

You might have a friend who doesn’t like the same music as you. Or movies, or books, or TV shows. A friend might have a completely different job, or marital status, or be in a different economic tier. Or be a different height, have different skin color, or hail from a different religion or political party.

So what is necessary for friendship to arise between two people? And what is needed for that friendship to grow and strengthen? What makes a friendship?

Related questions: What makes a good friend? What qualities do you look for in a friend? Who are your most interesting friends? How can we become better listeners?