Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hedging Your Bets

I was talking to a friend the other day and the topic of marriage came up. She is pretty anti-marriage. Her logic goes like this: since half of marriages end in divorce why get married? Believe it or not, this is not going to be a treatise in praise of marriage (I’ve been single all my life so what would I know). However, it is simply remarkable to me that it is the possibility of failure that makes up her main argument.

The possibility of failure exists everywhere. So what!

Car accidents occur every day but I don’t see that stopping anyone from driving. People lose their jobs through lay-offs or firings every day but most people still chose to go to work and when they are out of work, they look for work. Some children are born with medical or developmental issues and most families have a history of some sort of disease, does that stop people from having kids? No, of course it doesn’t.

The possibility of failure exists; however, most people do a few things to reduce that possibility.
  1. They realize that they outcome is greater than the risks. The joys of parenthood outweigh the potential risks of developmental or medical issues. The idea of sharing a life with the one you love becomes more important than being single. The ability to make money, gain benefits, and utilize talents makes employment worth the possibility of a lay-off, or worse, a firing.
  2. They take the proper precautions. Drivers get car insurance and wear seat belts. Workers arrive on time and do their jobs correctly. Pregnant women take prenatal vitamins and make regular doctor visits. Those who value marriage invest in pre-marital counseling. People do what they can to lessen the possibility of failure.
  3. They weigh options and make decisions accordingly. This doesn’t mean that people don’t make mistakes but they look at the pros and cons and study the facts prior to making a decision. Most people won’t buy a used car with bad brakes and bald tires unless they plan on changing them immediately. It would be a clearly risky move. A man or woman who enjoys dating might decide that this isn’t the best time to settle down with one person.
  4. They trust themselves, their guts and their instincts. After assessing the risks, taking precautions and weighing options, they step forward with the confidence that they have made the right decision with the facts at hand. When you trust yourself and your ability to make sound decisions, even if you end up making a mistake, you'll probably have the courage to turn your situation around. That courage doesn't exist in those who are guided by a fear of failure.
My point is this: Never let fear of failure or, fear in general, stop you. Do the best you can to mitigate the negatives and then move ahead or move into another direction. If you try and fail, get up and try something else. Regrets don’t come from taking a chance. Regrets come from deciding not to do anything at all.

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