Safe is Risky

These are the words of the original Purple Cow himself, it’s risky to be safe. I image love it. It is really risky to play it safe!

So why don’t we take risks all the time?

Taking a risk means that we know that we have a chance of losing something. So we refrain from doing anything because of fear of losing. So we don’t ask the girl of our dream out for a date because we fear rejection, we don’t bring up our great idea in our company meeting, because we fear of being laughed at.
We know what this will lead to: Your dream girl will never go out with you, because you never asked her. You will feel that your company never listens to you, and that they might fire you, because you never bring good ideas to the table.

Playing it safe is risky. You will lose if you play it safe.

There is a small experiment that I do, to make sure that I am not playing it safe. I do the annoying, uncomfortable things.

Staying in my comfort zone eventually leads to non-comfort. Safe will lead to risk. So I do the annoying and uncomfortable things that will eventually lead to comfort.

When I feel that I am not confronting an employee because I don’t feel comfortable doing it, I go and confront them. Think about it, if I don’t confront them, they will keep on doing the same annoying things, this will lead to me becoming even more uncomfortable. When I do confront them and take the risk of upsetting them, then they probably will stop doing the annoying thing.

When I feel that I don’t really want to unit test a specific piece of annoying code (because it is hard to test), then that code will have bugs, and I will be uncomfortable fixing it, because there are no unit tests. When I do the uncomfortable and unit test the code, then the code becomes maintainable and I become comfortable.

Where have you taken a risk, where have you left your comfort zone today?

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