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Taking Risks: Why It’s Hard to Take Risks But Why You Should

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Person taking a leap from one mountain to another

Why is Taking Risks Important?

You need to take risks because taking a risk uncovers potential, just like the present moment uncovers the future.

By taking risks in life, you uncover your potential as the future reveals itself. A future that is newer and brighter is your potential… It has to be, because that is the only sort of future you will feel motivated to take on.

Therefore, taking risks can be the greatest motivational thing you will ever do in your life.

If you’re tired of playing it safe, then it’s probably because you want a brighter and better future. People tend to avoid risk because we are hardwired to fear loss more than we love gain, and I will prove it to you…

Actually, I am going to prove it for you. I am going to show you that a single idea can change the way you look at risk forever.

By the end of this article, you’ll see:

  • That you need to take risks or else you will miss great opportunities for growth
  • How much of a risk taker you really are
  • What risk truly is; providing you with a perspective that can get you out of your comfort zone and toward your full potential

Risk Taking is All About Behaviour

Risk-taking is a behavior, and behaviors can be learned. Of the things that you have control over, you will only gain or lose as much as your behavior allows.

Some hold on to lost causes hoping to recapture what they lost. They find that they end up losing more.

Others let go of a good thing because they are afraid of losing it in the first place. They often find that the thing they let go of becomes their biggest regret.

Holding too long and letting go too soon happens more often than the setting of the moon, and it all begins with behavior.

Do You Hate to Lose More Than You Love to Win?

If you’ve never thought about that question, then you’re probably about to learn something very interesting about yourself.

Casinos in the U.S. have managed to make $48 billion in revenue from gamblers in 2022 alone, their very best year yet.  There is a reason why casinos are so successful, and it is because they understand something very important about human behavior:

People hate to lose more than they love to gain because losing hurts more than winning feels good; In fact, We have a sensitivity to anticipated loss that is twice more intense than anticipated gains.

So when presented with options, most people are more likely to take a risk to avoid losing something than to take a risk and gain something. (Are you one of those people? Stay tuned, there’s an experiment coming up soon).

If you ever see a casino giving free drinks and food to someone, watch that person carefully. They will offer that person free drinks and food so that they stick around longer. The Casino will do what it can to keep that person around long enough for them to win their money back, and it often works. They understand that people tend to lock in gains quickly for fear of losing what they have.

Conversely, they won’t bother doing anything if the person is losing, not only because they’ve already won their money, but because they are betting that the person will stick around to try and win back what they lost.

The house always wins! But what does this have to do with risk?

Your View on Taking Risks Was Shaped When You Were Just a Baby

It once happened that my two-year-old nephew wanted a Rubik’s cube that my seven-year-old niece was playing with. After crying to his mother, she managed to convince my niece to let the baby have the Rubik’s cube.

My nephew got the cube, and five seconds later, he proceeded to put it next to him while he continued to do other things; disregarding the cube completely. I thought it would be okay for me to give the toy back to my niece, but as I began to reach for the cube the boy started bawling his eyes out.

Gaining it didn’t mean much. The baby wasn’t even playing with it! losing it, however, felt like the end of the world.

Because we hate losing, our brains compensate by intensifying our aversion to loss, and this is why we avoid taking risks to gain something and are more willing to take risks to avoid losing something. We hate to lose things we might not even care about, and it goes way back to when you and I were just babies, and maybe even beyond that.

Cute baby with big brown eyes

How Much of a Risk-Taker Are You?

let’s try a little experiment.

Imagine you have to choose between two options, which would you choose?

a) You gain $250,000.

b) There’s a 25% chance that you make $1 million and a 75% chance you make nothing.

Now imagine you have to choose between these two options, again, which would you choose?  

a) You lose $500,000.

b) There’s a 75% chance that you lose $1 million and a 25% chance that you lose nothing.

If you chose options a and b respectively, then you have chosen what most people would. This is interesting because choosing a in the first question is the exact opposite behavior when choosing b in the second… It is a bias.

Most people are more likely to take a risk to prevent losing something than they are to take a risk and gain something. Just like the baby, losing something hurts more than winning feels good.

Whatever you choose, you might be surprised to know the result of your decisions.

What Are the Risks of Not Taking Risks?

You might be surprised to know that option AB is actually riskier because there’s a chance you will lose more, and make less.

  • Options A and B: you have a 25% chance to make your guaranteed $250,000 (assuming you get lucky and lose nothing in the second part), but there’s a 75% chance that you will lose $750,000 (Your sure gain of $250,000 minus the $1 million if you don’t get lucky).
  • Option B and A: You have a 25% chance to make $1 million, but there is a 75% chance that you will only lose $500,000 (Assuming you don’t make $1 million in the first part, you will only lose $500,000 if you picked a for the second part).
  • Options A and A: You lose $250,000 (gain of $250,000 – $500,000) with no chance of winning anything

Options ba is equivalent to ab plus $250,000 (you would lose $250,000 less with ba), and you have a 25% chance of making $750,000 more ( ba’s $1 million is $750,000 more than ab’s sure gain of $250,000).

You can say that the question wasn’t fair because you did not know they would be related, but that’s the point: All decisions in life are related.

When we are presented with choices, our behavior shapes our decisions, and those decisions result in something.

By not taking risks to gain something and only taking risks when you fear losing, not only will you miss out on great opportunities, but you may also end up losing more than you anticipated.

How to Start Taking Risks

Like the experiment, avoiding risk only to end up in a riskier situation is pretty ironic.

The problem with irony is that you can spot it only after it’s too late. But a bias on the other hand is quite different. A bias can be spotted before a decision even happens.

To begin getting comfortable with taking risks in life, you first need to be aware of your biases, which hopefully, by now you are to a better degree.

Irony is a comedian, but the bias is a learner. Irony pokes fun at the bias until you show the irony up.

Biases don’t care about making sense. As far as your bias is concerned, your circumstance is a risky one when it functions under the bias. But if your circumstance is not risky, and you can just as easily take on more risk, then there is disunity between your real situation and the perceived one.

That’s why people lose more than they anticipate; because they don’t look at the situation for its reality, but only through the lens of their bias.

Be a learned comedian. Spot your biases, and then it’s easier to take a risk.

What Does Taking Risks Mean?

Risk does not mean loss; it means potential.

If you are tired of playing it safe, then this single idea can transform your life.

You take risks because potential remains uncovered just like the future, and by taking risks in life, you uncover that potential just as the future reveals itself.

  • You risk pursuing your passion so that you can feel true to yourself
  • You risk taking time off from work so that you can travel and experience the world
  • You risk getting married and having children to build a relationship with people in a place you can call home
  • You risk not making money to go to school so that you have more opportunities in the future

Why do people take risks?

Because we live in the present, and for the future. We make decisions, and develop ways of thinking, and the future unfolds based on them.

The future is potential, and so are you. Think of yourself as walking potential, and you’ll become a risk-taker.

-Adam Hamadiya

Aerial view of man and woman raising holding arms in mountains in Norway

Health & Wellness

How to Solve World Hunger and Food Insecurity in 2024

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Here's how to solve world hunger and food security in 2024. eSoil might help, but it is not a solution.

Electronic Soil (eSoil)

Have you heard of hydroponic farming?

It’s a way of growing plants in monitored indoor environments without the need for soil. Hydroponics is used in farming because it increases the amount of plants that farmers can produce.

Recently, scientists at Linköping University in Sweden have created what they call electronic soil, or eSoil.

This is a type of soil used for hydroponics that stimulates plant roots by using electricity. The scientists have found that this increases the amount of crops grown by 50%. They are hoping that this breakthrough in hydroponics will help feed more hungry people in the world.

“We can’t say that hydroponics will solve the problem of food security, but it can definitely help”

Eleni Stavrinidou associate professor at Linköping University

However, there is this idea that we need to produce more food to solve world hunger. This is not true. In fact, producing more food might even be worse for food security on a large scale.

Here’s why.

Hydroponics Increases Food Production

Hydroponic systems give farmers more control over the environment plants grow in. Farmers can optimize both nutrient delivery and plant space in any way they see fit. Controlling these two things increases plant production while decreasing the time it takes them to grow.

In their journal, the researchers state that food security is a major issue. By 2050, the world population is expected to increase to 9.7 billion. The aim is to evolve hydroponics and use electronic soil (eSoil) to ensure food security as the world population grows.

But there’s a twist.

Does Increasing Food Production Help Food Security?

Out of the 7.8 billion people in the world, nearly 1 billion (or 10%) face hunger every year. And yet, we currently produce enough food to feed 1.5x the current population of the world, or 10 billion people.

9.7 billion is the expected population in 2050.

This means that right now, there is more than enough food to feed the expected population in 2050. So, using hydroponic eSoil to increase the production of food does not help food security. It just increases the amount of food and money that is wasted.

The Real Problem with Food Security is Waste

In 2023, the world used an entire year of resources in just 7 months. There is a huge waste problem. It is important—and even necessary— that waste be reduced or better utilized before looking for ways to increase food production to ensure food security.

Why?

If the world continues to produce more food than is needed, and there is already a waste problem, then even more food will be wasted. Wasted food costs money, and money is needed to create systems that ensure food security is met for everyone.

How Much Money Could Be Saved by Reducing Food Waste?

Nearly 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted annually. This food amounts to over $1 Trillion in the U.S. every single year.

How much money could be saved by reducing food waste?

How to Solve World Hunger

The UN reports that it would take $40 billion a year to feed every starving person in the world and solve world hunger. This might seem like a lot of money, but nearly $1 Trillion a year can be saved if food is not wasted. By creating more efficient supply chain systems and using AI to anticipate food overproduction, it is very possible to save enough money to ensure food security for everyone.

Individuals can do their part to decrease the amount of waste they produce in their household, but there are two main reasons for food waste: Overproduction and problems with transportation. Artificial Intelligence can be leveraged when dealing with both of these problems.

How can AI Help Solve World Hunger?

Artificial Intelligence and machine learning can be used to predict future demand and how much crops farmers should harvest. This will save money on overproduction. Even more, AI can predict what will happen given a certain event. So, if an event—like climate change— happens that causes overproduction, then at least the leftovers can be expected.

If something is expected then it can also be prepared for.

Two scenarios happen when using AI predictive analysis to solve world hunger:

  1. There is leftover or overproduction.
  2. There is money that is saved.

Both these things are big wins for solving world hunger in 2024 and onward!

Leftovers and Overproduction

If there are leftovers or overproduction, food can be directed to those needing it. This can happen instantly because the overproduction was anticipated using the AI predictive analysis, so delivery programs were developed beforehand.

Money Can Be Saved

If there is no leftover or overproduction, then it means that AI predictive analysis was a success, and no money was lost. The money that was saved can then be funnelled into a fund that is specifically made to feed the hungry and ensure food security.

Solve World Hunger by Creating a Fund

Money that is saved by making more efficient supply chain systems can be directed to a fund. If this fund is held in investments, then not only do you help the economy, but you grow money to further fund world hunger.

Much in the same way that investments are used to offset the effects of inflation, this food security fund can be used to grow money for the poor in years when supply chains were not so efficient at preventing waste.

As AI advances, it may even be possible to integrate the anticipation of leftover food (or money saved) as an event that is directly part of the supply chain.

It might even be necessary to do this in the future.

Can eSoil Help Food Security?

eSoil can be used to increase the amount of Hydroponic crop production. However, the main problem for food security is not production, it is efficiency. There is more than enough food to go around. So, electronic soil can only ensure food security on a small scale, not a large one.

eSoil might help food security, but it is not a solution. Here's How to Solve World Hunger and Food Insecurity in 2024.

IC INSPIRATION

You do not solve an overproduction problem by producing more.

Unless you only want to produce more for the people who have more, it becomes important to create a chain that efficiently funnels food and money to those who don’t have anything.

The problem is first anticipating the amount of food that is left over, and the amount of money that is saved. Then, we can get it to the hungry when they need it.

Have you heard of Lean Six Sigma? It is a methodology that originated in Japan. The Japanese were so efficient at producing Toyota’s that nobody could compete with them. In the 1990s, The CEO of Motorola adopted Lean, and Lean became Lean Six Sigma, which is now the backbone of the entire supply chain industry.

When Lean Six Sigma was introduced to Jack Welch, the CEO of General Electric (GE), he said:We are going to shift the paradigm from fixing products to fixing and developing processes, so they produce nothing but perfection or close to it.”

His phrase sums up the meaning of efficiency… Food security is not a matter of production; it is a matter of efficiency.

Producing more food to feed the world is like General Electric fixing its product instead of the process that creates it.

By focusing on the product, you miss the big picture.

But by focusing on the process, you create the picture that you want.

This is why I say food security needs to become an actual part of the supply chain. By researching how Artificial Intelligence can predict food overproduction, shortages, inventory, and demand, you can make money that can go toward solving world hunger.

Here’s your typical supply chain:

  • Production, handling, packaging, distribution, retailing, consumption

There needs to be something more within, between, or after these that does the following:

  • Anticipates leftovers that can be directed to those who need it before it becomes “waste”
  • Reduces waste and saves money, and then funnels those savings into a growth fund made specifically for the poor and hungry

We all need a New Year’s resolution. How about a collective one?

If you’d give three cheers to that, then click on the links below, and follow us on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram for more motivational news!

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Health & Wellness

Improving Mental Health With Kindness

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Improving Mental Health With Kindness

Have you ever wondered what you can do to instantly lift your mood?

A simple act of kindness can do just that.

There are many ways of improving mental health with kindness. Two of the most relatable are when you act as a known “giver,” such as helping an elderly person across a dangerous intersection, and the second way is to be the unknown “giver”—this one works as a pay-it-forward act of kindness. It includes things like paying for a stranger’s meal or coffee order without contact with the person you are helping. 

Regardless of which act you choose; it lifts the spirit. As humans, many of us are taught from childhood to be kind, polite, and helpful. After the act is done, there is praise from the authority figure who is teaching the mind of the young.  Smiling, clapping, or giving positive reinforcement, feeds the child’s soul and raises him or her to associate with kindness.

This is no different as an adult. We need to give kindness because kindness is a quality that is essential for mental health.

How does Kindness Improve Mental Health?

According to Professor Shahram Heshmat, when people are kind, it gives them a “helper’s high” which lowers stress hormones like cortisol. This allows the fight-or-flight response to calm down.

We live in a highly volatile world, especially these last several years.  People are rife with angst, frustration, and a “me first” attitude. If you are feeling any of these, it is important to feel like you are part of a world where others sometimes feel the same way. Kindness helps us relate to others. By performing a simple act of kindness, you bring yourself back to a state of calmness, and even joy.

A simple, genuine smile at someone can go a long way for your mental health. Doing kind things will improve your social connection with others, which in turn will make you feel better about yourself. Little by little, mental health can greatly improve.

Improving your mental health with kindness is a cycle. Not a vicious one, but one that is upbeat and inspirational.

Kindness Also Means Accepting Kindness from Others

Sometimes, it could seem that kindness does not come easily to some people, but kindness is a quality, and there are two simple ways to improve mental health with kindness:

  • Perform acts of kindness
  • Accept acts of kindness from others

For instance, let’s say that you are at a grocery store.  You just finished paying for your goods and go to grab your bag; it splits, and all the contents in that bag fall to the floor. 

As you scramble to rebag the contents, a stranger helps you by grabbing another bag and holding it out for you to fill it up. 

What do you do?

If you decide to smile and tell them thank you, it boosts your positive hormone, oxytocin.  You just took the first step to improve your mental health without realizing it. A genuine “thank you” can be very powerful.

“Your presence is an opportunity for others to do good things. This makes you a very important figure in people’s lives.”

Inspiring click: 15 small things that make you happy in big ways

Improving mental health with kindness

IC INSPIRATION

There are multiple ways to improve mental health. The purpose of this article boils down to one thing: KINDNESS MATTERS. 

It not only matters to the person who is receiving the kindness, it also matters to the person giving it.

You can improve your mental health with kindness and lift another person’s spirit.

By putting a smile on another person’s face, you make it easier to keep a smile on yours.

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Dr. Michiaki Takahashi is Proof That Anything is Possible

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Dr. Michiaki Takahashi is Proof That Anything is Possible

Dr. Michiaki Takahashi

Before 1995, it’s estimated that chickenpox resulted in approximately 4 million cases, 10,000 hospitalizations, and up to 150 deaths per year. Now, because of the chickenpox vaccine, there are fewer than 150,000 cases, 1400 hospitalizations, and 30 deaths every year.

Dr. Michiaki Takashi is the inventor of the chicken pox vaccine, and probably the most amazing thing in the world is that he set off to find a cure because the illness had almost taken his 3-year-old son.

Imagine, someone you love is progressively showing severe symptoms for something that there is no cure for. When the only thing you think you can do is sit there and watch, and you think all hope is lost, something hits you…

“I realized then that I should use my knowledge of viruses to develop a chickenpox vaccine.”

The Best Place to Start is Where You Are

A lot of people have knowledge, and the need for knowledge is something that we hold very dearly.

But how many people understand the true power of the knowledge that they already have?

To want more of something is very human, but to understand the face value of what you already have can sometimes be very difficult; it may even be superhuman. This is because the future is potential that is yet to be revealed.

The fact is that Dr. Michiaki Takashi began creating a vaccine with what he already knew, and if you asked him whether he knew that he would save millions of children at the time, he probably wouldn’t have believed you.

The ability to save millions of people is, in fact, superhuman. It is the most “superhuman” thing anyone can do. But that is exactly what he did, and he did it as an ordinary man that we now call a hero…

All because he started from the place that he was in, and with what he already knew.

Hero’s Aren’t Born; They’re Made

Billy Butcher will tell you this firsthand, but then again, he probably won’t need to.

Dr. Michiaki Takahashi achieved his MD at Osaka University in 1954 when he was 26 years old. He moved to Texas in 1963 after spending five years as an assistant professor at the Research Institute for Microbial Disease at the same university.

Nearly a decade of medical school in Ozaka, five years of being an assistant professor, a 1-year fellowship in Houston Texas, and in 1964, his son developed varicella (chicken pox). This frightful situation became the inspiration for the vaccine that changed the entire world.

Hero’s aren’t born; they’re made. They are made of the experiences that come before the opportunity to make a real difference.

It is at that point where the hero arises.

Even Hero’s Need a Bit of Time

It wasn’t until 1972—nine years after his son developed varicella—that Dr. Michiaki Takahashi began the clinical trials to create a vaccine. For an entire seven years before that, he had to prove that:

  • the vaccine would not lead to shingles later in life.
  • The vaccine would not be carcinogenic.

These were both underlying worries of others that Michiaki Takahashi had to work with before he effectively changed the world. In fact, these fears are still alive and are partly attributed to the reason why chickenpox vaccination is not universally rolled out in many countries. That being said, people are much less likely to contract shingles after getting the vaccine than they are after getting chicken pox—which the vaccine prevents.

The drive to change the world was for the people who held the fears and worries that may have prevented the vaccine altogether.

This goes to show that things take time. There are no shortcuts to success, and if there were, can you be sure that the hero would grow into everything they can be?

The Real Reason That Dr. Michiaki Takahashi is a Hero

You may recall that the entire history of Takahashi’s life brought him to a moment where he decided to make a decision.

This decision has positively impacted the lives of billions of people, to a degree we can never truly comprehend. It is as if all the knowledge that he ever achieved was preparing him for something great.

It wasn’t what he knew that changed the world, it was what he did.

The reason that Dr. Michiaki Takahashi is a hero is that he chose to use that knowledge to make a positive difference.

Dr. Michiaki Takahashi. Osaka Research Institute for Microbial Diseases
Dr. Michiaki Takahashi: February 17, 1928 – December 16, 2013. [Osaka Research Institute for Microbial Diseases]

IC Inspiration

It used to be that knowledge was power, but I’m not so sure now.

In this day and age, knowledge is knowledge, and power is what you do with knowledge.

Knowledge is currently accessible at the tip of your fingers, and what you know is what millions of others may know.

That is precisely why getting followers is such a big deal for many; because if people know what you know then they can understand you, and those likes reflect to some degree that you are being understood.

You can raise $2 million in 2 months without knowing everything; in fact, you may only need to know one thing really well, and sometimes, that might not even be necessary.

With good intentions, a good idea, and determination, you might just change the entire world.

That is why this man is a hero in my books.

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