CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

The Virtuous Cycle of Taking Smart Risks

. . . the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.

—T. S. ELIOT, “Little Gidding v”

I hope this book has deepened your appreciation of risk taking as a set of skills that can be learned, practiced, and sharpened. While there’s always a degree of art to taking risks—and some people are more naturally skilled at it than others—everyone can improve, finding smart ways to push outside her comfort zone.

Smart risk taking is about creating new things, understanding what you’re made of, and feeling confident and alive. You lose these when you play it safe for too long, in essence losing the “life” in life. So you need to take risks. But ...

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