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How to Think About Risk


"Some see risk as a reason not to try. Some see it as an obstacle to overcome. The risk is the same, to try or not depends on your perspective."

-Simon Sinek


I'm sound asleep when the annoying sound of the alarm clock starts blaring. It's 6:30 a.m., and I'm not used to getting up this early, even when I'm not on vacation in Las Vegas. It's even worse, though, because I just went to bed 5 hours ago, and my head hurts.

I was out too late with some people that I met on a recent rafting trip. I didn't mean to stay out this late, but the conversation (and wine) was flowing, and there are no clocks inside casinos.

This morning I have to try to catch a bus to get to Tropicana by 7 a.m. I'm going skydiving, and when I signed up for it, 7 a.m. seemed like a perfectly reasonable time.

I finally get to where I'm supposed to be and find that many other people are already here. I strike up a conversation with a person I’ll call Karl. Karl is from Costa Rica, and this is his first time in Las Vegas; we have that in common. Karl is also on a solo trip; another thing we have in common.

When we meet one of our guides, we are handed waivers to sign. As you can imagine, the waiver is quite long, given that this is for skydiving. I start going through the waiver, reading about all the ways that I can be injured or killed, initialing each page as I go through.

I look over at Karl and see him flipping through the pages as quickly as possible, scribbling on every page. Jokingly, I have some if he's going to read what he is signing.

He tells me, "no. I really want to skydive, they don't let you go unless you sign, and I don't want to know what it says because then I might not sign."