Three Risks Happy People Take Every Day


A couple decades ago, somewhat as a joke because she tutored me throughout grade school, I asked my grandmother to sign my high school yearbook. This was her closing paragraph:

“The best thing you can do from this day forward is to follow your intuition. Take risks. Don’t just make the safe and easy choices because you’re afraid of what could happen. If you do, very little worth remembering will ever happen.”

Years later, as I grew deeply interested in the psychology of happiness, I realized how pertinent my grandmother’s words were. Risk is an inherent part of living a good life. Without taking risks, you cannot truly live… you merely exist. Which is why the happiest among us take small risks every day. Let’s take a look at three good examples, and examine some ideas on how to implement them in your own life.

They risk the possibility of being hurt.

As you grow up, you will learn that even the one person who wasn’t supposed to ever let you down probably will in some small way. You will have your heart broken probably more than once. You too will inadvertently break some hearts, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You’ll occasionally argue with your closest friends. You’ll blame new loves for things an old one did. You’ll cry because time is passing too fast, and you’ll eventually lose someone you thought you couldn’t live without. This is what happens when you open your heart and mind to the greatest joys of life.

Chuck Palahniuk once said, “The only way to find true happiness in life is to risk being completely cut open.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. Anybody who is capable of living and loving is bound to get hurt at some point, but that’s a risk that’s well worth the reward. The result is a life filled with honesty and sincere love.

So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you’ve never been hurt. Don’t be afraid that your days will end in pain, be afraid they will never begin with honesty and love. Life is too short to let it pass by. Open your heart and mind and live it to the fullest!

They risk taking full responsibility for their own happiness

Remember, a good percentage of your happiness comes from your own choices and actions – your responses to life. Waiting for someone else to make you happy is the best way to be sad. The more you take responsibility for your past and present, the more you are able to create the future you seek.

So stop blaming others for what you have or don’t have, or for what you feel or don’t feel. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility and perpetuate the problem. Stop giving your power away and start taking responsibility for your life. Blaming is just another sorry excuse, and making excuses is the first step towards both misery and failure. YOU, and only you, are responsible for your decisions; make a good one right now that your future self will thank you for.

They risk letting go and starting anew.

Holding on to what’s no longer there holds too many of us back. Some of us spend the majority of our lives recounting the past and letting it steer the course of the present. Don’t waste your time trying to live in another time and place. Let the past GO! You must accept the end of something in order to begin to build something new. So close some old doors today. Not because of pride, inability or egotism, but simply because you’ve entered each one of them in the past and realize that they lead to nowhere.

When we continue to repeat a story in our head, as all of us do, we eventually believe that story and embrace it – whether it empowers us or not. So the question is: Does your story empower you? Don’t place your past mishaps on your mind, their weight may crush your current potential. Instead, place them under your feet and use them as a platform to view the horizon. Remember, all things are difficult before they are easy. What matters the most is what you start doing now.