We have been taught that risks are a bad thing. Why? Perhaps because risks can lead to failure and loss.
In fact, our brains are wired to avoid risky situations. Dr. Tali Sharot a Neuroscientist and author of The Optimisms Bias found that the frontal lobes, used primarily in decision making and perceived future risk assessment, play a huge role in our happiness and risk-taking behavior. Stating in an interview, “Taking [risks] can result in negative events since too-positive assumptions can lead to disastrous miscalculations.”
However, gaining lasting happiness comes from taking the right risks (seriously, no one wants to deal with the repercussions of a bad risk.)
This creates a paradox that’s like a teeter-totter, on one side our brain wants to stop us from taking risks, while on the other side risk-taking behavior can make us happier. As stated in Psychology Today the article “Flourish” by Angie LeVan, “Thus it seems quite paradoxical to include risk-taking as one of the primary behaviors that leads to the ‘good life.’”
Happiness is then ‘risky business’—to be happier we have to take better risks. So come join The Happiness Movement every second Wednesday @ 7:30PM for fun conversations on building more happiness today, tomorrow, and in the future.