Risks can be rewarding, but they can also be downright scary. It’s not easy to break out of your comfort zone, but maintaining a few stable areas in your life makes it much easier to take risks in other ways. Author Ramit Sethi calls it the “tripod of stability”.
Photo by Ekke
His idea is to keep three of the most important aspects of your life perpetually stable. This stability gives you the confidence to take the occasional risk. He puts it this way:
…nailing the big things means that you can play around and take risks in other areas. We can apply this principle to our own lives. I call this concept my “tripod of stability.” By taking care of the big things — my home, my car, my relationships, I can increase my growth by taking risks in other areas like pushing my limits when working out, experimenting in my business or travelling to new places.
Sethi uses standup comedy as a metaphor. Comedians test their material in smaller venues. Some jokes flop — that’s the risk. But by testing which jokes work best for smaller audiences, comedians can tell their best jokes at big stadiums and on TV sows. Their stable success at larger venues gives them the confidence to try riskier material in front of smaller audiences. As Sethi says: “nailing the big things mans that you can play around and take risks in other areas.”
To come up with your own tripod of stability, think of three areas in your life you most want to be stable. Then, focus on stabilising those areas and seek out risk in other areas. For example, let’s say your tripod of stability is:
- A job (steady income)
- Your relationships
- Your savings account
Once you’re clear on the legs that make up your tripod, you can start to play with risk in other areas. That might mean travelling, starting a side business or meeting new people. Check out his full post for more detail.
The fascinating psychology of master comedians [I Will Teach You To Be Rich]