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Risk

  • If you defy the system long enough you'll be rewarded. At first life takes revenge and reduces you to a sniveling mess. But keep sniveling, have the madness, the audacity, to do what interests you, forget about your pension, and eventually life will say all right, we'll let you do it.

  • It's a funny thing, the less people have to live for, the less nerve they have to risk losing — nothing.

  • Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.

  • No great deed is done by falterers who ask for certainty.

  • I would not creep along the coast, but steer / Out in mid-sea, by guidance of the stars.

  • Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand: / Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!

  • When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap.

    • Cynthia Heimel,
    • "Lower Manhattan Survival Tactics," Village Voice ()
  • And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.

  • ... he who has nothing to lose can afford all risks.

  • It takes all kinds, I understand. Some want to live dangerously and some want to live.

    • Jessamyn West,
    • "Foot-Shaped Shoes," Collected Stories of Jessamyn West ()
  • ... audacity is of all qualities the most youthful.

  • The human soul has need of security and also of risk. The fear of violence or of hunger or of any other extreme evil is a sickness of the soul. The boredom produced by a complete absence of risk is also a sickness of the soul.

  • Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.

  • ... I am a writer who came of a sheltered life. A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.

  • You have to go out on a limb. Because that's where all the fruit is.

    • Patti LaBelle,
    • in Patti LaBelle and Laura Randolph Lancaster, Patti's Pearls ()
  • The only time you run out of chances is when you stop taking them.

    • Patti LaBelle,
    • in Patti LaBelle and Laura Randolph Lancaster, Patti's Pearls ()
  • If you're never scared or embarrassed or hurt, it means you never take any chances.

  • I don't think I'm a risk-taker. I don't think any entrepreneur is. I think that's one of those myths of commerce. The new entrepreneur is more values-led: you do what looks risky to other people because that's what your convictions tell you to do. Other companies would say I'm taking risks, but that's my path — it doesn't feel like risk to me.

    • Anita Roddick,
    • in Daniel Goleman, Paul Kaufman, and Michael Ray, The Creative Spirit ()
  • Leap and the net will appear.

  • The difference between a calculated risk and rolling the dice can be expressed in one word: homework.

  • What you risk reveals what you value.

  • I have noticed that doing the sensible thing is only a good idea when the decision is quite small. For the life-changing things, you must risk it.

  • Playing it safe is the riskiest choice we can ever make.

  • Aunt Rose was not a risk taker. Her idea of taking a chance was buying a domestic brand of tomato paste.

  • When you play it too safe, you're taking the biggest risk of your life.

  • The Government should take a firm, bold line. This delay — this uncertainty, by which, abroad, we are losing our prestige and our position, while Russia is advancing and will be before Constantinople in no time! Then the Government will be fearfully blamed and the Queen so humiliated that she thinks she would abdicate at once.

  • ... people who refuse to take risks live with a feeling of dread that is far more severe than what they would feel if they took the risks necessary to make them less helpless — only they don't know it!

  • Risk is the willingness to fail.

  • If you are the kind of person who listens to conservative advice, you may do okay in life, but you probably won't ever be a fantastic leader. You have to take risks, and you also have to go against conventional wisdom, because conventional wisdom doesn't make for startling advances in society.

    • Ruth Simmons,
    • in Lauren Picker, "The Key to My Success," Parade ()
  • When we deliberately leave the safety of the shore of our lives, we surrender to a mystery beyond our intent.

  • ... if you risk nothing, then you risk everything.

    • Geena Davis,
    • in Kevin Sessums, "Geena's Sheen," Vanity Fair ()
  • ... for every person who's stepped out of line and lived to regret it, there are two people who stayed in line because they got their values mixed and lost their nerve, and who have lived to regret it still more. You don't hear about those people because they're still in line where they don't show.

  • Hooray for the last grand adventure! I wish I had won, but it was worth while anyway.

    • Amelia Earhart,
    • 1928, letter to her father to be opened in case of her death, in Jean L. Backus, Letters From Amelia: 1901-1937 ()
  • Please know I am quite aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.

  • I'd rather walk a tightrope than have my feet on the ground.

  • It's only when we have nothing else to hold onto that we're willing to try something very audacious and scary.

  • Sometimes I think we can tell how important it is to risk by how dangerous it would be to do so.

  • Our whole way of life today is dedicated to the removal of risk. Cradle to grave we are supported, insulated, and isolated from the risks of life — and if we fall, our government stands ready with bandaids of every size ...

  • [On being an informant:] Some people drink. Some people take drugs. I work. It's just something that satisfies.

  • Sometimes I think about the danger. It's hard not to when I'm the most powerless thing compared to my surroundings. But I don't want to look back at my life and wonder what it's like to really be alive.

  • If nuclear power plants are safe, let the commercial insurance industry insure them. Until those most expert judges of risk are willing to gamble with their money, I'm not willing to gamble with the health and safety of my family.

    • Donna Reed,
    • in Jay Fultz, In Search of Donna Reed ()
  • Miriam has never been good at leaps. She was always the kid who had to back down the ladder of the high dive.

  • If you want to launch big ships, you have to go where the water is deep.

  • The person who takes no chances generally must take whatever is left over after others have finished choosing. Overcaution is as bad, if not worse, than lack of caution. Both should be avoided. Life will always contain an element of chance. Not to win is not a sin. But not to try is a tragedy.

  • The fullness of life is in the hazards of life. And, at the worst, there is that in us which can turn defeat into victory.

  • Leaps over walls — especially when taken late in life — can be extremely perilous. To leap successfully, you need a sense of humor, the spirit of adventure and an unshakable conviction that what you are leaping over is an obstacle upon which you would otherwise fall down.

  • My favorite animal is the turtle ... For the turtle to move, it has to stick its neck out.

  • Accept that all of us can be hurt, that all of us can — and surely will at times — fail. Other vulnerabilities, like being embarrassed or risking love, can be terrifying, too. I think we should follow a simple rule: if we can take the worst, take the risk.

  • It's better to be boldly decisive and risk being wrong than to agonize at length and be right too late.

  • I surfed in a very cool and confident zone and my ego was snuggly and warm in a sleeping bag of safe choices.

  • To see a candle's light, one must take it into a dark place.

  • It's thanks to the risks we take that life is worth living.

  • Risk-taking is intrinsic to existential psychology; it is also intrinsic to mental activity, which is doubtless why the latter is so rare.

  • I'd rather regret the risks that didn't work out than the chances I didn't take at all.

  • [On being urged to hold back to preserve her voice:] Why should I hold back now and sound mediocre just so I can sound mediocre 20 years from now?