Why do You Engage in Risky Behavior?
Is “sex, drugs, and rock and roll!” your personal motto?
Sometimes it is easy to think that you can let the good times roll. The truth is, you can only get away with risky behavior for so long. Sooner or later, you will encounter consequences for your choices.
This is not my public service announcement promoting a drug-free, safe-sex, defensive-driving America. This is my “slap you upside the head; it’s time to get a clue blog post.”
I’ve seen consequences of ALL KINDS of risky behavior derail lives in immutable ways.
To be cliché, you’re probably thinking “oh, that won’t happen to me.” And maybe you are right. Maybe one of those commonplace consequences of risky behavior won’t happen to you, but it’s likely that some other undesirable event will.
Taking calculated risks, chances based on a careful estimation of the likely outcome, can prove incredibly rewarding in life. But playing roulette with your future for too long will only increase the probability that you will suffer a fatal bullet wound to your destiny.
Take for example sexual promiscuity. Most sexually promiscuous behavior will end in acquiring some kind of sexually transmitted disease (particularly when statistics show that over 90% of our sexually active population ages 22-65 have HPV which can be contracted even when using a condom).
And take “social” drug users for example. Over 21% of them suffer from chronic depression as a result of their “casual” use.
So by now you get that bad choices are likely to bring about bad results. Now, here is my point.
Why is it that throughout our lifetime we are cautioned against various “risky behaviors”, yet more often than not we engage in them anyway?
Let’s look at a less controversial matter for a moment—using sunscreen. In a recent survey by consumer reports, 27 percent of Americans admit they never use sunscreen when out in the sun for a long period of time. Yet this same 27 percent of Americans admit to knowing that skin cancers affect more than 1 million people each year.
Isn’t that ironic?
You see we are lucky. We have the knowledge we need to make good choices. We have the ability to avoid things that we know can hurt us. We have the power to break destructive habits and form empowering ones.
So why do some people outgrow their willingness to take these risks while others don’t?
Apparently, our tolerance for risk is all a function of the brain. Science shows that those of us who engage in risky behavior do so because we don’t really think it’s risky. This factor coupled with physiological addictions, emotional dysfunction, or mental issues keep risk-takers from changing their behavior.
But not everyone who puts themselves at peril for negative consequences suffers from the added difficulty of dealing with physiological addictions, emotional dysfunction, or mental issues. And for those who don’t, it is more likely a symptom of low-self esteem, a vision-less future, or deep rooted fear.
So if you are consistently putting yourself at risk for encountering any kind of harmful consequence, then you need to ask yourself why. You need get to the core of your issues. Then, you need to start making choices that will lead you to the unique and brilliant future you were meant to have.
Hey, luck runs out eventually.