Assessing your personal risk

The picture shown is of my wife and I standing in front of the lava that is pouring into the sea on the Big Island of Hawaii.  It was taken by CJ Kale about an hour before sunrise.

One of my employers had a great exercise that they would use for both the company and our customers.  It was a risk assessment exercise.  The basic idea was to identify all the risks that exist that might really hurt you personally or as a business.  You would then decide if the risk was big enough to ruin you or small enough to just irritate you.  An educated guess would then be made as to whether it was highly likely or not very likely for the risk to actually manifest itself…or happen.  Might it happen once in 500 years or once a month.  After all these guesses were put down on paper, we drew a line.  The line was a “How much risk can you tolerate?” line.  Risks identified above the line could not be tolerated and a plan was made to eliminate or reduce the risk.  Those below the line were to be tolerated or were so remote that they were ignored.  At the end of the exercise, you had a plan for going forward in your business or your life…going forward with a plan that deals realistically with the risks we all face in life.

What is your plan?  The plan that Linda and I had while the picture was being taken was two fold…don’t advance any further because there was a crack in the lava that looked like it might give way any moment and pray that CJ took the picture quickly so we could get the heck away from the edge.  Our plan worked so well that my wife, showing that she actually has good sense, is no longer willing to go out to the lava fields at night.  You may have read how well my plan is working in the Happy to be Alive blog.  Not all plans are brilliant.

By the way…when my buddy fell into the crevice, we actually had a plan worked out in advance.  It was minimal, but it saved the day.  The plan…don’t go out without at least three people.  Why?  Because it would be impossible to help an injured person with only one person.  The dangers that exist on that old lava field are things that take two people to handle.

So, again, what is your plan?  Will your lack of an advanced degree keep you from attaining everything you want in life?  That is a risk.  Has your social drinking gotten in the way of performing at your best 100% of the time?  Another risk.  Have you decided you will never move from your current location?  Still another risk to your future success.

We all face risks.  And we are better off if we plan in advance as to how we will face those risks. Take a few minutes and complete the little exercise I described above.  And now is a better time to do it than after you have fallen into the crevice.  Trust me on that one.