” Climb Every Mountain”…the popular song from the movie “Sound Of Music” has always fascinated me…not just for the lyrics, because it also brings forth a thought, question to my mind. Why is it that some people take up challenges that others would not dream of?
The mountaineer’s obsessions with Mt Everest has always fascinated me. It’s a dream I can relate to. Then there are people who let go of everything and indulge in bungee jumping. There’s one lot who love water and go white water rafting at the drop of a hat…I have done that when I had access to rivers.
Why are people risk-takers? What makes a person take high risks and do dangerous, even life-threatening things? Some people love speed and the thrill of racing; other people are into extreme sports such as ice climbing, and bungee jumping.
Is it the fame and fortune, or is it the sense of inner fulfillment? Is it physical challenge, or is it the mental or spiritual challenge?
Here are some thoughts shared by people I spoke to.
“Some people are addicted to taking risks. Other people just want to feel extremist. Most risk takers are men. Is it because men have more curiosity? Most women always think twice about taking risks because they are more rational than men. Men just want to feel extremist, take things to the edge, and get their adrenaline up high.”
“In my opinion, risk takers always have very similar qualities. They want to try something new and enjoy the thrill. These people aren’t conservative, and they love freedom.”
“The first time they do something, many people feel scared to do extreme sports; but when they do it several times, they feel excited and thrilled. Only the first time is difficult. Many risk takers are addicted to taking dangerous sports to the edge. They more they do it, the more they want to do it.”
All the above resonate one thing…there are people in this world who who want to step beyond the normal, because normal is boring. They are willing to take risks.
Risk-taking, which one researcher defines as “engaging in any activity with an uncertain outcome,” arises in nearly all walks of life. Asking someone on a date, accepting a challenging work assignment, raising a sensitive issue with a spouse or a friend, confronting an abusive boss–all involve uncertain outcomes, and present some level of risk. Understanding the psychology of risk, understanding why some individuals will take chances and others won’t, could have important consequences in everything from career to personal relationships.
Researchers don’t yet know precisely how a risk taking impulse arises from within or what role is played by environmental factors, from upbringing to the culture at large. The perception of risk also changes from person to person. Risk is very widely different in terms of what kinds of risks people are willing to take and the subjective reasons for why they take risks. Rather than being generally risk-seeking or risk-avoiding, people are a complicated blend, Elke Weber, a psychologist explained. ” A person might be risk-seeking in a recreational risk way. But that person may be risk-averse in financial situations. They would do bungee jumping but wouldn’t invest in the stock market .” Likewise, a financially reckless person who is willing to wager everything in a game of blackjack might never attempt a controversial joke in a conversation with strangers.
Having taken a few risks myself…all I can say is that being naturally optimistic helps me decide easily. Miley Cyrus comes to mind here with her song…
There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side
It’s a climb
That’s what life is all about also…sometimes its not about the mountain, it’s only about the climb!!!
I would love to hear from you about the risks you have taken or if you know people whose stories you would like to share…
Have an adventurous day 🙂 🙂 🙂