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Why you should bet on yourself

“If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.”― Lao Tzu

David Luescher
4 min read

An idea for you to consider

Today's a special day for me: It's my last day of work at my corporate job!

I've been with a company in the banking industry for over five years and now I'm going to take a leap into the unknown.

Such a step can feel a bit intimidating at first.

However, I firmly believe that betting on yourself is often times the best bet you can take in life.

Below, I elaborate on my reasoning:

1. You take responsibility for your own life
To get one thing straight: Betting on yourself doesn’t require you to quit your job without having signed a new job offer (as I did).

But, betting on yourself will teach you to take responsibility for your own life and happiness, even though it sometimes might be way easier to indulge in self-pity instead of taking action.

In my experience, the magic happens once you fully acknowledge that you are responsible for your own life in every single aspect.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you feel some resistance agreeing to the previous sentence.

But here’s the thing: Once you take full responsibility for your own life, you stop waiting and start taking action.

It’s a subtle mindset shift, but an empowering one.

2. You create more opportunities
When we act, we create opportunities instead of waiting for them to arise.

Let’s assume you’re looking for a new job:

  • updating your LinkedIn profile
  • compiling a list of 30 firms you’re interested in working at
  • figuring out if you know somebody at one of those firms
  • getting an introduction through someone in your network to a recruiter / line manager to grab a coffee together
  • submitting a compelling application
  • etc.

Are all actions you can take to increase your odds of success.

The thing is: Once you put yourself out there, people are noticing you.

You may not get the results you want straight away, but once people know you exist and what you want, some of them will remember to contact you as soon as an opportunity arises that they think you might be interested in.

3. You learn how to take calculated risks
One principle we can borrow from the investment world is that risk and return go hand-in-hand.

To be more precise: there is a positive correlation between the amount of risk and the potential for return.

What is true for investments, I consider true for life in general.

Life without uncertainty is simply not possible - and, in my opinion, neither desirable.

Funny enough, especially here in Switzerland I have the impression that most people tend to be very risk-averse in certain aspects and are not feeling comfortable to even take smaller calculated risks.

Again, this is not a call to action for you to burn bridges and burn all your savings during the next couple of weeks/months hoping that somehow life for sure will turn out fine without you having to lift a finger (because guess what: that's a stupid strategy).

It’s simply an invitation to dare to take calculated risks.

I ask myself the following questions to calculate the risk and then decide whether I feel comfortable to take it:

Highest possible upside

  1. If I take this decision, what are the best case scenarios?
  2. Is it wishful thinking or is it a realistic scenario that can be achieved given my current life situation and a bit of luck?
  3. What levers can I pull to increase the chance that the best case scenario takes place?
  4. Are the benefits of the best case scenario of temporary or permanent nature?

Biggest possible downside

  1. If I take this decision, what are the worst case scenarios (e.g. with regards to finances, health, relationships, etc.)? (As I can usually think of several ways how things can go wrong, I list all worst case scenarios I can think of)
  2. Assuming a worst case scenario takes place: Can I recover from it? If yes, why? If not, why not? (the answer is most of the times: yes)
  3. What levers can I pull to mitigate the chance that the worst case scenario takes place?

Last but not least, keep in mind that not taking a decision is also a decision!

This is why I always ask myself also the question:

What is the cost of not taking action now?

Once I have my answers ready, I then review them and decide whether I think it’s worth to take this calculated risk.

To me, quitting my job without having a new offer at hand is a calculated risk that I felt comfortable to take.

Why?

Because:

  • I know exactly how many months I can sustain myself without an income.
  • I strongly believe that allowing myself to experiment and explore new opportunities is 10x more rewarding, exciting and fulfilling than staying in my corporate job (I won't go into the details of the opportunities I'm currently exploring - more on that maybe in another newsletter)
  • I know that the biggest, though rather improbable, irreversible risk in my current situation is experiencing an accident/illness that renders me not capable of working any longer (& hence having to depend on the welfare of others)
  • I know which levers I can pull to reduce my variable costs
  • I know that I can get back on the same career track if I have to

I invite you to bet on yourself as well.

I truly believe that is a great way to unlock our potential and to live a fulfilled life.

P.S.: Are you not buying into this idea? No worries, as I said I volunteer as your humean guinea pig and as such you can expect some honest updates during the next couple of weeks/months :-)


A quote for you to ponder

“If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.”― Lao Tzu

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