Progress and Risk-Taking

Progress and Risk-Taking
The Covid experience is but one example of how one seeks to protect oneself from a virus which is yet to be fully programmed. In February 2021, in most parts of the world, the virus was declared dead and yet in a few months' time it came back with a bang.

Life is full of risks; from walking the staircase to crossing the road to eating food and,indeed, much else. One is always confronted with risks. There is always a distinct possibility of slipping on the steps just as there is a possibility of being knocked down on the road by a vagrant person or a vehicle. The food may always have some latent contamination or a virus which could not be screened. In the present era of possibilities of ‘intensifying’ the surface of the vegetables/fruits; one is always running the risk of buying fresh fruits or vegetables which are corrosive to the body. The list can be multiplied and with it the anxieties which accompany the awareness of this possibility. Since the chances of eliminating these possibilities to a zero level are impossible; one has to develop a threshold of what caution dictates and leave the rest to providence and much else.

The message is simple, the only way of living is doing the best one can to mitigate the risks and train oneself to ignore the rest. The second step is important because if one does not do that unnecessary stress, is the outcome. The formulation may be simple to state but it takes effort to practise. Mind control is not always easy.

Thus, it is that there is a need for widening and deepening the range of skills at the early childhood level and gradually making it a more informed process as one goes on. There are very few institutions – formal or informal – which are helping to do it. The role of parenthood in this is critical. As one grows older and parents fade away, the role of institutions and self-development become more critical. Unfortunately, the matter is not receiving sufficient attention, the way of dealing with it needs to be institutionalised. It is even more worrying that the awareness of the need of a formal response to this concern, is at the best weak and possibly waiting to be recognised.

The Covid experience is but one example of how one seeks to protect oneself from a virus which is yet to be fully programmed. In February 2021, in most parts of the world, the virus was declared dead and yet in a few months’ time it came back with a bang. In the last few weeks, this pandemic has been declared to be over in many parts of the world and yet, it is there in an ugly form in certain pockets. Covid is not the only virus. There are issues of hygiene related to just about anything one wears, eats or sleeps with. The writer of these lines has a distinguished doctor friend who advised that the important thing is to protect the bed. Translated into action, it simply meant not sitting on it with random clothes and bathing before sleeping. It is difficult to say, how the doctors follow the prescriptions which they write. But that is a separate point. It is more relevant to recognise that doctors have by virtue of their training and profession the competence to write a protocol on the upkeep of the body. The tricky part is the doctors agree to a threshold of information only up to a point and thereafter there are always variations, depending upon the experience of the doctor and his range of exposure/awareness of that kind of risk. Hence, the focus is on the individual.

A joyful individual basically, positive in the orientation need not go splitting hairs. A commonsensical approach like in business decisions is the best way forward.

It is known that most business decisions mean grappling with a range of variables which are either unknown or at best an interpretation of past experiences. Yet businesses have nurtured human civilisation since time immemorial. There is intuition, instinct and foresight in everyone. An educated, informed and sensitive mind is the best guarantee of success.

Overemphasis can and must be controlled in favour of a joyful and positive approach to oneself, others and life itself. This is the message which needs to be spread essentially by practising what one would want others to do. Leading by example is the best way forward and mutual respect and bonding facilitates this.

This text began with talking of risks. Popularly, professionals have viewed entrepreneurship as risk-taking for-profit maximisation. This is the essence of entrepreneurship. It was so since time immemorial and continues to be so today. Any community which has an appetite for healthy risk taking will be an entrepreneurial community. Entrepreneurship was at the root of human progress and continues to be so. One has to inculcate and encourage this spirit from early childhood to all stages of life.

Risk taking is a recognition of realities of human life and how it can be seen as a positive input for not only pushing the boundaries but enriching personal lives and growth possibilities of groups.
Over generations, incoming of technology has added newer dimensions to this fascinating journey. It is at the core of human progress. It covers everything from microbe hunting to explorations of the space.

Dr. Vinayshil Gautam

Internationally acclaimed management expert. Chairman, DKIF

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Dr. Vinayshil Gautam

Internationally acclaimed management expert. Chairman, DKIF

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