About low risk / high frequency

The brain’s default setting is to conserve energy, to ignore data that isn’t pertinent to our survival. Hence the problem with receiving new information, the brain doesn’t want to expend energy to learn something new.

We are also wired to be afraid of everything. Twitter has magnified this. We check our feed incessantly because we need to be reassured that the world hasn’t ended while we were away on a conference call.

Because we are lazy and afraid, we naturally drift to activities of low risk / high frequency. We sit in front of a computer all day long, doing what feels safe, working as a cog in a machine.

The problem with low risk / high frequency is that the safest thing is actually the riskiest thing we can do now.

When you don’t stand out from the masses, why should management keep you when it’s time for layoffs? If they can find someone faster and cheaper, they will.

What we need then is to take more risks and often. Not the kind of risk of climbing Mt. Everest in the winter without oxygen or jumping out of an airplane without a parachute. No, we need more intellectual and emotional risks.

We need your best work, your best insights, your genius. It is only a perceived risk to share your gifts. No one actually dies making a presentation. A safe isn’t going to fall on your head by submitting that proposal you’ve tucked away in your desk. We are not going to spontaneously combust if we write something and post it for others to see.

When we can learn to dance with the fear, we are freed to do something interesting and remarkable. We are free to do our best work without the worry of shame. (It is expected.) We can do something that matters.

The internet has made the cost of failure virtually zero. All that is left is to decide. Deciding if you are going to make a difference. You can’t do it without risk. There is no art without risk.

This might work. This might not work. You won’t know until you try.