On Mitigating Risk

No good argument can be made for taking risk unnecessarily when the same or better outcome can be had by mitigating risk instead.

Risk, alone, is of no real value.

In fact, unnecessary risk is detrimental to our survival, progress, and success.

Proper research, planning, and preparation will guarantee us the outcomes we want far more reliably than risk does.

We owe it to ourselves, to those who count on us, and to that which we are trying to accomplish to do our due diligence, whenever possible, prior to taking action.

If we spend enough time, effort, and attention on this preparatory work, if do everything in our power to mitigate any and all foreseeable risk, not only will our work be a lot easier and our efforts more effective, but we will actually be far more well prepared for whatever surprises, challenges, and resistance we face along the way.

Risk mitigation, in its own way, is actually far more valuable than courage.

Courage is still a prerequisite for any worthwhile endeavor, especially when it comes time to take action, but a lot of the courage necessary to accomplish what we set out to do can be replaced by front-loading our efforts with good planning.


Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.

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