How Much Risk Makes You Uncomfortable?

Over the course of a lifetime, we all encounter extreme levels of risk at some point. What level of risk makes you uncomfortable?

Risk is all around us.

Sometimes, it is physical. Perhaps you enjoy the high speeds and twisty turns of a roller coaster. Or maybe jumping out of an airplane is on your bucket list.

Another kind of risk is financial. Taking on a large debt, like a mortgage or a student loan, can be daunting. Putting your money in the stock market, where you might lose it, may seem dangerous to some.

There are also other, more abstract, kinds of risk. Asking out someone, with the possibility of being rejected. Leaving a job where you are comfortable for one that might be worse.

Apart from these riskier behaviors, we also do small things are potentially bad or dangerous. However, the downside may be so small, we might not even realize the potential harm.

For example, think about eating some tasty, but unhealthy (or fattening) food. Too much of that can put you at risk for heart disease, not to mention obesity and the many health problems that come with it.

Or maybe you buy the occasional lottery ticket. A few bucks, even if you are unlikely to win, might seem like a gamble you are willing to take for the possibility of a big payout.

Most people probably find a threshold of risk somewhere between these extremes. Not everyone is comfortable with, say, rock climbing. But most people are willing to climb over a few boulders when out for a hike.

What do you find an acceptable level of risk? Has it changed over time, and if so, how? Is your comfort level different for you than it is for a loved one, like a child or an aging parent? Have you forced yourself to take risks that you weren’t comfortable with, because of a potential reward?

Related questions: How do you evaluate risk? When did you last push the boundaries of your comfort zone? What is uncomfortable but rewarding? What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

Is There Something You Do That Others Would Consider Harmful?

It is no secret that different people often have conflicting opinions. What one person might consider the right course of action, another might think wrong, or even harmful.

With that in mind, are there actions you have taken that others have disagreed with? Disagreed with so strongly, in fact, that a friend or a family member considered what you were doing to be dangerous?

Harmful, in this context, can mean many things.

One possibility is to be harmful to yourself. If you do something that puts your life, or some part of it, at risk, that might be considered harmful to you. This might include doing something that puts your job or your livelihood at risk. It might also mean risking physical harm, as well.

A second possibility is to risk the relationships or the even the lives of people around you. For example, someone might consider you a bad parent if you permit your child to participate in risky behavior (even if it is done in a controlled way).

Yet another type of harmful behavior might include something potentially damaging to the environment. This might include something as simple as not recycling, or something like driving an older, polluting car.

Naturally, differences of opinion may very well be at the heart of some of disagreements. Someone might believe eating meat is harmful (it’s certainly harmful to the animals being eaten), but someone else might simply view that as part of natural life: animals eat other animals.

Is there any behavior you have participated in that someone else considered harmful? Did you come to regret your actions, or do you feel they were justified? Or some of both?

Related questions: What do you do that you shouldn’t? How do you judge yourself? What beliefs do you have that might be wrong? When should you criticize someone?

Do You Have Money In The Stock Market?

As a vehicle for making money, the stock market has a good record of being very effective. Particular stocks may fail, and there have been some famous crashes costing people fortunes, but overall it has traditionally been a good investment opportunity.

Still, many individuals, particularly ones from poorer households, don’t use it at all. Do you have money in the stock market?

Share why if you wish.

 

How Does The Pandemic Continue To Disrupt Your Life?

The Coronavirus pandemic has arguably been the most disruptive event in recent history. How has it impacted your life now?

The early days of the pandemic were by far the most disruptive, as we all struggled to adjust to the spread of the disease. This included lockdown, the adoption of facemasks, disinfecting groceries, a shortage of toilet paper, and on and on.

However, most of the immediate impacts have been alleviated. There are vaccines, and that, combined with a growing familiarity with living in a society with COVID, have seen many aspects of life return to normal. Large gatherings, including sporting events, concerts, and so on are happening again. Many people no longer wear masks. Socialization has increased.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘Freedom or security?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘Is technology neutral?’


And yet, COVID is still with us. While the overall case numbers, hospitalizations, and deaths due to COVID are lower than in past years, they are still significant. Individuals and/or families still catch the virus, and plans are frequently postponed or cancelled even now, nearly three years into the pandemic.

Now that we, as a society, have adapted our lives to accommodate COVID, what do you find to be the most disruptive to your life? Are they things you do, other people around you do (or don’t do), or some combination of the two? Three years in to this situation, what has had the biggest impact on your life?

Related questions: What advice would you give your pre-lockdown self? How do you want this to change you? How has your work life changed? COVID-19?

What Have Been The Turning Points In Your Life?

There are times in your life when everything seems to be going one way. Suddenly, things change and end up being completely different. What are those turning points in your life?

One of the more remarkable things about one person’s life is how it unfolds. Often, it doesn’t come about in a linear, straightforward way. Instead, it zigs and zags, sometimes lurching dramatically from one direction to another.

There are several things that might cause these swings.

For instance, particularly early in life, you may just be learning about yourself, what you want and what your dreams and goals are. As you shed the expectations of your parents, your teachers, your friends, and others, you might alter the trajectory of your life, occasionally quite suddenly. You might change your college major, or trade one job for another, as you realize what works for you and what doesn’t.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘What book has had the biggest impact on you?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘How do you show thanks?’


Alternately, some changes are forced upon you. There might be some sort of limitation in what you can afford, or where you can live. While at the time these can be uncomfortable or unwelcome, ultimately they might prove to be very meaningful or impactful, even if they are outside your control.

Or maybe you have just needed a change. You did one thing, and learned from it. But now, in order to continue to grow, you need something else, so you make a change.

Whatever the situation, turning points can be impactful, altering even core concepts of who you are or what you are able to achieve. What are some of yours?

Related questions: How have you changed? What makes change possible? Who was your best teacher? Have you had an ‘Aha!’ moment?