I watched this video from Big Think, of Henry Rollins talking about the one decision that changed his life. It’s well worth seven minutes of your time. Plus even if, like me, you don’t really know that much about Henry Rollins, watching a video of him automatically gives you five cool points.
One of my favourite moments is when he talks about weighing up his options – he could stay with the status quo or he could face humiliation in the gamble for something incredible. As he says, humiliation is part of being young, and it is. There’s no fear.
It’s a sad thing that most of us lose that willingness to take a little bit of humiliation so we stay with what we know. We adopt a form of loss aversion as we place an irrational bias on the current state of affairs to avoid losing what we have, even though the alternative could bring greater reward. We prefer avoiding losses to making gains.
I got to thinking about how many decisions one is faced with in life that can change it significantly, and what surrounding factors have to be in place to make you take the plunge?
I believe that the recession in Ireland, and elsewhere, has brought about more opportunity for making life changing decisions whilst, paradoxically, increasing risk aversion. Perhaps it has even broadened the gulf between those that will make the choices and those that will stick with what they know. Neither is right or wrong, obviously – different strokes and all that.
I can’t help but admire the people I see making life changing decisions, whether it’s following a passion or seizing an opportunity that you find (or make for yourself). It’s rare you see someone worse off for it in the long run. Like this guy.