Before you act, find out how risky any action is. Many things in life tend to be mundane, that is you do them because they need to get done. You brush your teeth or go to work for example. These are the mundane things of the day.
There are situations though that can get a bit risky. Often times these risky situations or challenges entice us with a reward, and depending on the risk, the reward can be great. When these situations present themselves, it is very important that you learn to assess the risk level involved.
What is very dangerous and risky for one person is sometimes much easier for another. For example it might be very risky for you to swim the English channel while a professional swimmer might find it easy enough. To be able to assess what is difficult for you is very important in life because it could mean the difference between great reward and utter failure.
Sun Tzu said “Know thyself”. This is very good and sound advice indeed. To know yourself you need to begin to trust your feelings. Fear and apprehension are great indicators that you might be over your head. When these emotions present themselves, you need to take the time to find out why they are there. Question yourself and your beliefs about whatever situation is causing these feelings. Ask yourself, “why?”. Follow these answer by asking this question over and over again until you are satisfied that you know why you are feeling scared or apprehensive. Doing this will give incredible insight into your own being and into your capabilities. Fear is a good thing, it is trying to tell you something important about the situation you are or will soon be in.
Objectivity is also a great resource. You must trust and understand your feelings but you must also make sure that you look at every situation with an objective eye. To do this, detach yourself from yourself and the situation for a little while. Use this time to asses everything that you have discovered. From here you must make sure that you have the detachment to make the hard choices. Learn to be cold and objective when you have to be so that you are able to see things without delusion.
With these powerful tools, you should be able to assess the risk of possible situations that you might encounter. You can then begin to see if any situation is worth the effort and the challenge. This is most important because we are often led into very risky situations because of the promise of great reward. Gambling is the great example of this, business is another area where many lose huge sums of money and time because they do not measure the risk factor properly.
If you do find a situation that does seem to be within the right risk level, then make sure that you do your best to succeed at it. The idea is to do things that warrant good to great reward with the lowest amount of risk possible. If you can position yourself in this way then you will find that your accomplishments will greatly increase.
The idea then is not to become a cold a calculating monster but to objectively pursue future endeavors so that you get more hits than misses. If you honestly question your feelings, as I mentioned above, then you will see that being that evil monster will be impossible. These feeling will let you know when you are doing something that goes against your better judgment. Know yourself and win many battles, know the risks and act only when the risks are within your comfort level.