Sunday, December 5, 2010

Along Came Polly - Part 1

Are You a Risk ANALYST or a Risk TAKER???

So I'm watching Ben Stiller (I want to marry love Ben Stiller) in the movie "Along Came Polly".  For the 87th time.  Anyway, I've always resonated with the title character Polly.  Sadly.  Polly, with her "non-plan plan" (clear lack of direction in life), certain flakiness, and commitment issues.  And her love of all foods ethnic.  Then there's me, with my non-plan plan, certain flakiness, and commitment issues.  And my love of all foods ethnic.  We could almost be twins.  Anyway, on this 87th watching, I realized I felt a stronger connection with Ben Stiller's (I want to marry love Ben Stiller) character Reuben Feffer.  The Risk Analyst who's job it was to evaluate & reduce potential risks for businesses.  The Risk Analyst who rarely took risks in his own personal life.  Visions of the Ebola virus prevented him from eating mixed nuts in a public setting.  Laughing out loud.  But then, upon further inspection of his character, I found myself asking: "Is that my brother from another mother??? Holy crap!"

Epiphany: I.Am.NOT.Sasha.Fierce.But.I.AM.Rueben.Feffer.  Ohhh snap!  Like Reuben and his mixed nuts phobia, I do not/will not eat or drink behind someone else.  I mean, I cannot sip from someone else's drink (esp. if a straw is involved - backwash horrors!) Visions of ANY virus prevents me from doing so.  I will not take this time to elaborate on my laundry list of phobias - I have a ton-load of them.  But  if I'm being honest, I will acknowledge that with almost every opportunity in life that has been presented to me - I have evaluated more the RISKS involved than the potential BENEFITS.  And by doing so, I have CLOSED doors before they were even OPEN.  Unnecessarily.  Honestly, the whole risk-evaluating thing is quite exhausting.  "Should I do this?  Should I do that? What if this? What if that?"...It never stops. A few years of this Reuben-type behavior would turn anybody into a Polly.  Indecisive.  Uncommitted.  Flaky.

Sometimes in life, maybe you don't always need to evaluate the risks.  Sometimes it's more important to evaluate the benefits.  Count the costs - yes.  Contemplate the CONS as well as the PROS - yes.  But DO.CONTEMPLATE.THE.PROS.  And maybe just focus on those.  And if the risks involved are minimal and not harmful to you or others, why not take a page from Nike and JUST DO IT?  There are a ton of 'witty' risks quotes out there but my favorite is this:

"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."

Taking risks requires courage.  Perhaps "Risk Analyst" is just a fancy title for...PUNK.

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