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  1. #1
    WhoCares
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    Default Acts of daring, risks that matter

    I've somehow gotten to midlife and realised that I have not once risked anything material in life. I've never made an act of daring and therefore have never received any real exciting results in life. I've come to realise that my risk aversion is helping to lose any enjoyment I might feel in life. A safe life is a life wasted. So how about you confess, what acts of daring have you made in life and would you do it again.

    Title shoud say, 'of', not 'if'...

  2. #2
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    I'm in the same boat. Except, I am 24.

    I am very very risk adverse, and strive to make sure all risks are minimized. Having something fail or fall apart on me because of an ill-calculated risk is really painful for me, and it's a pain I can't well deal with at all. It leaks into other areas of my life and causes more problems. That "thrill" feeling you get from something working out despite it being a risk? Not worth it to me, at all. Yeah it feels nice, but the possible pain way overrules the possible enjoyment.

    That said, I have taken a few risks in my life. However, they were extremely well calculated and I didn't even see them as a risk anymore. The biggest was going to college. I grew up in New Jersey, and I decided I wanted to go college in Montana. I never visited there, never even been to that part of the world. I did a lot of research and figured out it would work out for me. So, I picked up, went there, and as I expected it all worked out. Others saw me taking a huge risk, but I knew I would do well and thrive there.

    So, I guess you could say it's possible to take risks without even realizing that they are.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post

    So, I guess you could say it's possible to take risks without even realizing that they are.
    this is the essential most part of being able to take risks, in some ways refusing to see the possibility of failure is essential to things working out. When I was youngerr I would do things off the cuff and they wold work out all the time. I didnt even weight the risks, its only in the past decade that I've become more closed down. I dont think I've done anything I'm proud of yet but I've had my share of spontaneity and success. i miss that part of me, I also miss what I could have been. I know its not over yet which is why I'm preparing to remove the shackles of a comfortable life again.

    Periodically I get counter phobic and just do random shit to shake my life up regardless of what will happen....no not right....without even looking at what will happen just enjoying the rush of something, anything happening.

  4. #4
    WhoCares
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    Judging by lack of response, maybe people really do live lives of quiet desperation. Oh well.

  5. #5
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Well, I'll be an odd data point for you.

    My life started with a crazy near-fatal illness, so that was risky enough, and its effects are still present in my life... it's not a risk I chose but it's here to stay. There's really no data on longevity or if I'll need more medical procedures in the future, so I get tested often. A few years back I had a massive blood clot and that was quite "exciting" as well. I think maybe in part because I do have this ever-present medical risk in my life, I'm kind of okay with everything else being a little quieter. I know really my luck has been extraordinary for me to be here and healthy and there's really no telling what the future could bring. So that's a very different feeling than quiet desperation. It's more like quiet gratitude.

    As for my risks... I've always waited til the last minute to do anything but generally have excelled anyway. One gleeful time I didn't do an essay and they made me write it in class, and then it was chosen as the winning entry in a contest, so I got to lead a school ceremony. In middle school I made the cheerleading team even though I wasn't "popular", and I loved it. In high school I went on Adderall and that was conducive to a lot of adventures. I took the most academically rigorous program available, excelled, and then fucked off and ditched it because I got sick of spending every night writing multiple essays. I only applied to two colleges and only got into one. Against my parents' and doctor's wishes I took myself off my longterm maintenance medicine because I wanted to be able to thrive without it, and I did. I joined and eventually led an underground college group that secretly put on events for the joy of doing so, though we had to carefully skirt official procedure. I'm sure technically I could have been thrown out for that. I studied abroad in an usual location that included orienteering (getting dropped off in an unfamiliar forest in 20-below weather with only a compass and a map). I got lost at one point and had an incredible moment of lucidity, and I've never been afraid in a new location or being lost anywhere ever since. I blew a ton of money travelling. I experimented and found out you can take my little car up to 112 mph before it gets shaky. I told my boyfriend I loved him after only 3 months, poor kid. But I did. And we're still together. And I decided to go back to undergrad on my own dime recently.

    I don't know how much you'd consider any of that "risky"... it's pretty tame... but no quiet desperation here. Poverty, frustration, impatience, fear, indecision, stress, and exhaustion. And probably far less daring than you were hoping to read about. But for me it's enough: meaning, and beauty, and joy, and life. I still want to travel more... I want to live in Asia for a while... I want to get married... I want to have a job helping people that I look forwards to... I want to get my SCUBA certification and yoga instructor certification... I want to own a really fast little sports car... I want to have kids and grandkids. I guess I'm not very good at seeing things in terms of risk and reward but I'm pretty good at seeing things in terms of letting my heart flow fully, and to me that's what matters.

  6. #6
    WhoCares
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    Thanks skylights, beautiful story.

  7. #7
    Paranoid Android Video's Avatar
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    It is a fucking pain to reason with me on this topic because I downplay everything.

    Most people who know me think I have done and am doing interesting and risky things with my life, so I am going to give them credit, but I will disagree with them every time. My perception is that I have wasted my time reveling in "silent desperation". This may be because most of the things I do and places I go are alone, and it's strange, but I am only meaningfully afraid of anything when there are other people involved, regardless of what it is I am doing or how objectively difficult. I judge the risk and difficulty level of challenges by the emotional hurdle that has to be cleared to beat them, not by what they literally are or how much physical risk or demand is present. Thus, what is and isn't a risk can be vastly different between individuals who are comfortable risking different things.

    So in my world, hiking that desert unaccompanied isn't worth calling home about, but letting someone into my heart is a real adventure.
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  8. #8
    WhoCares
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    @Misty, interesting perspective. When I look back at the risky things I did I did them because I wasnt emotionally attached to the situation. It was just a decision and I took it and ran with it. Its only been after the fact that I realised what I risked in doing so. If I feel a strong emotion about it I'm not likely to follow through either because I feel doubtful about it or because I feel too excited about it. I dont trust either of those extremes.

    I wonder how much if this has to do with type. I need to feel emotionally free in order to take a risk (not be weighed by emotion either way) but you dont consider that to be a risk at all. T vs F, 5 vs 4, sx vs sp. Such an interesting, interesting thought.

    I guess what I was getting at in the original post where those decisions that change the course of your life in some fundamental way. If your unassisted desert walk meant you discovered the meaning of your life then it fundamentally changed you. But if it meant, cactus, tumbleweed, lizard, oh look a scorpion....yeah, not much risk or reward there, maybe just photo ops. I guess I measure risk not by emotion, but by the impact such a decision had on your life. If its impact was big enough to derail where you were at, then that's a risk to me.
    @skylights story highlights an internal need amoung all of us to have a more meaningful experience of life, however that meaning is interpreted by us. What I got from there was an unending spirit to not just live but to fully thrive. To feel the aliveness of life itself. For if we live carefully protected lives then we might never experience life at all. It doesn't really matter what our actions are, I think overall we seek the same intention. For life to become more than what we are presently experiencing. To get a kind of technicolour take on what is otherwise just a series of mundane tasks and experiences.

    I am definately seeking that now, I am seeing a life half lived and so many dreams I have yet to bring to fruition. The succeeding or failing is immaterial at this point, I just want the thrill of attempting it.

  9. #9
    Paranoid Android Video's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhoCares View Post
    I guess I measure risk not by emotion, but by the impact such a decision had on your life. If its impact was big enough to derail where you were at, then that's a risk to me.
    I like that definition as well, and expect it alongside the one I posited before. If it isnt clear, my expectations of an experience's impact may be too high, even. As I see this, (and this is where the 4 comes in), the "derail" I have in mind is that an adventure impacts the identity, changing or at least deeply shaking or affirming who one is.

    skylights story highlights an internal need amoung all of us to have a more meaningful experience of life, however that meaning is interpreted by us. What I got from there was an unending spirit to not just live but to fully thrive. To feel the aliveness of life itself. For if we live carefully protected lives then we might never experience life at all. It doesn't really matter what our actions are, I think overall we seek the same intention. For life to become more than what we are presently experiencing. To get a kind of technicolour take on what is otherwise just a series of mundane tasks and experiences.
    I think instinctual variant has the biggest impact on what "protected" means to each individual, and yes, it can vary greatly.

    I am definately seeking that now, I am seeing a life half lived and so many dreams I have yet to bring to fruition. The succeeding or failing is immaterial at this point, I just want the thrill of attempting it.
    This thread interested me because I related to it. I am around Hard's age, and my press is currently indisputable. I am in a steady job outside of school for the first time, and I have celebrated that new level of control by taking it too far. Do have passions - you can say I do have sx, but it has to be unlocked by putting sp and so in their places first. There are two ways to do this: firstly, by interacting with them in the real world with care, confidence and responsibility; secondly, micromanaging them to prevent them from affecting me and interrupting my pet projects any more than absolutely necessary, which is the avoidant and easy way. Ironically, this is not a position of power. The operative assumption is that just because certain things are my top survival concerns, they will make me feel things I cannot calm or choose the priority of. That is, being unable to control my feelings and unable to choose how to respond to them, which is untrue (see CBT) and a time bomb. It's okay to want stability, but real stability is not withdrawn from challenging itself.
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  10. #10
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