“Risk is the potential for an irreversible negative outcome.” -Tim Ferriss
The responses from family, friends, and acquaintances when I announced I was joining a startup were overwhelmingly positive. You would of course expect this from a supportive network.
However, there have been many occasions when that positivity has been paired with a side of forewarning and doubt.
“Well, that sounds risky. Are you sure that’s the best path for you?” “Well, you’re young. Now is the time to take risks.”
It’s funny. At not one point through the process (it was a quick one) of deciding to transition to this new job did I consider that it might be a risk. This is because I cannot consider the pursuit of doing what I love any sort of risk.
For the last few years, I have been honing in on this art of pursuing what you love that too few people attempt to master. I had known since my teen years that it would take finding work that I loved in order for me to be successful in any sense of the word, but it wasn’t until the end of my college career that I actually started to pursue that end. It’s been a fulfilling and fun path so far. Unfortunately, few people make it a priority for themselves.
Many young people are particularly averse to this art. They have had a fear of disappointment instilled in them by educational institutions and family dynamics that cultivate external validation. They essentially go through childhood without ever acting on their own accord and live day-to-day thinking of ways to please the adults in their lives, so they’ll have those precious few opportunities to pursue their own interests.
For the young people in your life, challenge them to try the untested path. Give them the freedom to explore their own interests, so they can develop passions that enable them to create value for society and themselves. Without an open environment through childhood, young people will never become empowered to master this art when it’s most important and a real risk becomes present: the risk of mediocrity.