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Quotations about Risk

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NOTE:  Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors.   —ღ Terri, March 2021

All of life is the exercise of risk. ~William Sloane Coffin

You can avoid most of the sorrows of life, the only requirement being that you avoid all the happiness. ~Robert Brault,

To sail on wings of unrestraint, there where there is no chart of the skies! ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

Don't refuse to go on an occasional wild goose chase — that's what wild geese are for. ~Author Unknown

To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself. ~Søren Kierkegaard

Adventurers who dare not sail their Ships
Till Wind and Tide are fair, will make Few Trips.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Voyagers," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. ~Pablo Picasso

When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap. ~Cynthia Heimel, "Lower Manhattan Survival Tactics"

Progress always involves risks. You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first. ~Frederick B. Wilcox

Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is? ~Frank Scully

I come to the forbidden edge.
I strap on the sheath of unfear and gird the strands of daring about me.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of the Strong: XXVI," A Soul's Faring, 1921

Real happiness is worth almost any risk... ~Philip Dunne & Joseph Mankiewicz, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, 1947, spoken by the character Captain Daniel Gregg, film based on a 1945 novel by R. A. Dick (Josephine Leslie, 1898–1979)

Yes, risk taking is inherently failure-prone. Otherwise, it would be called sure-thing-taking. ~Tim McMahon

No Man may hope Return from all he sows.
Forbear not Planting Corn for Fear of Crows.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Service," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them could not stand being laughed at. ~Author Unknown

If you don't take risks, you'll have a wasted soul. ~Drew Barrymore

The fear of being laughed at makes cowards of us all. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take. ~Wayne Gretzky

I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean. ~G.K. Chesterton

What is more mortifying than to feel you've missed the Plum for want of courage to shake the Tree? ~Logan Pearsall Smith

The shore is safer... but I love to buffet the sea — I can count the bitter wrecks here in these pleasant waters, and hear the murmuring winds, but oh, I love the danger! ~Emily Dickinson, letter to Annie P. Strong, 1851

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. ~John A. Shedd, Salt from My Attic, 1928

You won't improve your chances by taking too many. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1908, George Horace Lorimer, editor

Do not spend your life seeking security and then wonder why you never found happiness. ~Robert Brault,

Who goes far will go without guide or map. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

To eat an egg, you must break the shell. ~Jamaican Proverb

To win you have to risk loss. ~Jean-Claude Killy

The torment of precautions often exceeds the dangers to be avoided. It is sometimes better to abandon one's self to destiny. ~Napoleon Bonaparte

Who can hope to be safe? who sufficiently cautious?
Guard himself as he may, every moment's an ambush.
~Horace (65–8 BCE), a metrical translation into English by Lord Lytton, 1869

If you're never scared or embarrassed or hurt, it means you never take any chances. ~Julia Sorel (Rosalyn Drexler), See How She Runs, 1978

Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise. ~Author Unknown

Shaun Murphy:  ...which means it's only moderately hazardous.
Lea:  Most good things in life are.
~The Good Doctor, "Dr. Ted," 2021, written by Patricia Carr, Sam Chanse, & Adam Scott Weissman  [S4, E16]

Prudence keeps life safe, but does not often make it happy. ~Samuel Johnson

This nation was built by men who took risks — pioneers who were not afraid of the wilderness, business men who were not afraid of failure, scientists who were not afraid of the truth, thinkers who were not afraid of progress, dreamers who were not afraid of action. ~Brooks Atkinson

Life's greatest dangers are often found in apparently small risks. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

You know what's wrong with you, Miss Whoever-You-Are? You're chicken, you've got no guts. You're afraid to stick out your chin and say, "Okay, life's a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that's the only chance anybody's got for real happiness." You call yourself a free spirit, a wild thing, and you're terrified somebody's going to stick you in a cage. Well, baby, you're already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it's not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somaliland. It's wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself. ~Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1961, screenplay by George Axelrod, based on the novella by Truman Capote, spoken by the character Paul Varjak

The more chance there is of stubbing your toe, the more chance you have of stepping into success. ~Author Unknown

Why chase a hopeless dream? Maybe for the dream, maybe for the chase, maybe to meet another hopeless dreamer. ~Robert Brault,, 2019

I believe the risks I take are justified by the sheer love of the life I lead. ~Charles A. Lindbergh

The healthy being craves an occasional wildness, a jolt from normality, a sharpening of the edge of appetite, his own little festival of the Saturnalia, a brief excursion from his way of life. ~Robert MacIver

Of all the people I have ever known, those who have pursued their dreams and failed have lived a much more fulfilling life than those who have put their dreams on a shelf for fear of failure. ~Author Unknown

Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome. ~Samuel Johnson, Rasselas, 1759

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. ~Robert F. Kennedy

Why live on the edge when you can jump off it? ~Sign at Macau Tower Bungy Jump

For — believe me — the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is — to live dangerously! Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius! Send your ships into unchartered seas! ~Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), The Gay Science, "Book Four: St Januarius" (#283), translated by Josefine Nauckhoff

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. ~Seneca

What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail? ~Robert H. Schuller

You must lose a fly to catch a trout. ~George Herbert

While forbidden fruit is said to taste sweeter, it usually spoils faster. ~Abigail van Buren

I hugged safety close to my chest and kissed risk full on the lips. ~Betsy Cañas Garmon,

The knowledge of the world is only to be acquired in the world, and not in a closet. ~Lord Chesterfield

Often we... expect and want every day to be just like today. Even though we're not satisfied with today, we settle for security instead of discovery. ~Stephen G. Scalese, The Whisper in Your Heart

At some point you must decide if you want to succeed or just be someone who was never to blame for anything going wrong. ~Robert Brault,

Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic. ~Author Unknown

If one is forever cautious, can one remain a human being? ~Aleksander Solzhenitsyn

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. God Himself is not secure, having given man dominion over His works! Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold. Faith alone defends. ~Helen Keller, Let Us Have Faith, 1940

Dare to be naive. ~Buckminster Fuller

Every man has the right to risk his own life in order to preserve it. Has it ever been said that a man who throws himself out the window to escape from a fire is guilty of suicide? ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau

There are those who are so scrupulously afraid of doing wrong that they seldom venture to do anything. ~Vauvenargues

One cannot refuse to eat just because there is a chance of being choked. ~Chinese Proverb

Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little course, and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice. Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. ~André Gide, The Counterfeiters, 1925, translated from French

Perhaps I have lived my life to excess, but know what — if I had it to do over again, I would overdo it again. ~Robert Brault,

If you are weak, dependent upon others, inclined to allow yourself to be dominated by opinion, to take root wherever you see a little soil, make for yourself a shield that will resist everything, for if you yield to your weaker nature you will not grow, you will dry up like a dead plant, and you will bear neither fruit nor flowers. The sap of your life will dissipate into the formation of a useless bark; all your actions will be as colorless as the leaves of the willow; you will have no tears to water you, but those from your own eyes, to nourish you, no heart but your own. ~Alfred de Musset, The Confession of a Child of the Century/La Confession d'un enfant du siècle, 1836, Desgenais to Octave, translated from French by Kendall Warren

You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far backward. ~James Thurber

I also make myself do something uncomfortable every day just to stay in good standing with risk.... It's true, I easily honor the desire to retreat and I create safe places to sip tea and think. I love to hunker down and read books and write words and paint in order to suss out path. Especially when leaves are falling and the garden is mostly asleep, and the house smells like pumpkin and apple everything. But I will risk in huge ways when it comes to words that must be said and questions that must be asked. ~Betsy Cañas Garmon,

We fail more often by timidity than by over-daring. ~David Grayson

Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down. ~Ray Bradbury

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Last saved 2021 Jun 04 Fri 10:27 PDT

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