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  • Writer's pictureAli Assareh

It's the "cushion" around the risk that matters, not the size of the risk!

The Economist has a FANTASTIC article about risk taking this week, using the expedience of BASE jumpers, as a trope.

(Apparently “BASE” is an acronym for buildings, antennas, spans and earth.)

The idea is that what determines our risk profile is not our “appetite” for risk, but our “assessment” of it.

If we have a larger “cushion” in our belief that we can manage a risk, we are willing to take it - even if it’s a seemingly extreme risk, like BASE jumping off a cliff.

If we don’t feel like we have enough of a “cushion”, we won’t take the risk - no matter how seemingly small it is.

“[J]ust as gambling seems less risky if you have plenty of money to lose, so base jumping is less risky if you have trained.... It’s a question of how much cushion you have.”

In the end, “You do the kind of things you’re not afraid of.”

You can read the full article here if you’re a subscriber:

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