Quotes about Risk and Risk-Taking

Most popular risk-taking quotes

Necessity is the mother of taking chances.
Let us find what risks we can measure and these are the risks we should be taking.
Venus favors the bold.
To save all we must risk all.
What is life but one long risk?


Everything is sweetened by risk.
Hope is a risk that must be run.


Risk is the willingness to fail.
You can't test courage cautiously.

caution courage

A man sits as many risks as he runs.
What you risk reveals what you value.
All serious daring starts from within.
No noble thing can be done without risk.
Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing.


If you risk nothing, then you risk everything.


You have to be careful about being too careful.
If you are scared to go to the brink you are lost.
A brave man risks his life but not his conscience.


All inquiries carry with them some element of risk.
To conquer without risk is to triumph without glory.
In skating over thin ice, our safety is in our speed.
The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.


Art imitates Nature in this: not to dare is to dwindle.


Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is?
It is quite a predicament to be both evil and risk-averse.


Before you'll change, something important must be at risk.


When you're skating on thin ice, you may as well tap-dance.
Women do not like timid men. Cats do not like prudent rats.
A ship in harbor is safe—but that is not what ships are for.
What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
If a man is not ready to risk his life, where is his dignity?


But he that dares not grasp the thorn
Should never crave the rose.
The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions.
The man who knows it can't be done counts the risk, not the reward.
And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.
My idea of shooting a fish in a barrel is draining the barrel first.


All growth, including political growth, is the result of risk-taking.
When you play it too safe, you're taking the biggest risk of your life.
Most risk-takers aren't risk takers; they're just unsuspecting cowards.
If you don't place your foot on the rope, you'll never cross the chasm.
If you're not failing now and again, it's a sign you're playing it safe.


In the long run, we get no more than we have been willing to risk giving.
A single feat of daring can alter the whole conception of what is possible.
Security is not the meaning of life. Great opportunities are worth the risk.


It's better to plunge into the unknown than to try to make sure of everything.
He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
To a certain extent, a little blindness is necessary when you undertake a risk.
I think we should follow a simple rule: if we can take the worst, take the risk.
Wherever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.

entrepreneurship success

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out just how far to go.
Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.
People wish to learn to swim and at the same time to keep one foot on the ground.
To dare is to lose your "foothold" for a moment. Not to dare is to lose yourself.
If you're never scared or embarrassed or hurt, it means you never take any chances.

embarrassment fear pain

The safe way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket.
Progress always involves risks. You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first.
The Wright brothers' design ... allowed them to survive long enough to learn how to fly.
However well organized the foundations of life may be, life must always be full of risks.
Business people need to understand the psychology of risk more than the mathematics of risk.
Yes, risk-taking is inherently failure-prone. Otherwise, it would be called sure-thing-taking.
You should remember that good ideas are rare—when the odds are greatly in your favor, bet heavily.


In thinking about the future, it is better to err on the side of daring, than the side of caution.


One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.


It's a funny thing, the less people have to live for, the less nerve they have to risk losing—nothing.
It's better to be boldly decisive and risk being wrong than to agonize at length and be right too late.

action be bold decision-making hesitation

If you want to keep on learning, you must keep on risking failure—all your life.  It's as simple as that.

failure learning

What is more mortifying than to feel that you have missed the plum for want of courage to shake the tree?


When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get one, but you won't come up with a handful of mud either.
He who risks and fails can be forgiven.  He who never risks and never fails is a failure in his whole being.
And the day came when the risk to remain closed in a bud became more painful that the risk it took to blossom.
Results are often obtained by impetuosity and daring which could never have been obtained by ordinary methods.
It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.
Take a chance! All life is a chance. The man who goes furthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare.
— Dale Carnegie’s Scrapbook, edited by Dorothy Carnegie
Never risk your reputation on a single trial, because if it does not turn out well, the damage will be irreparable.


Intimacy requires courage because risk is inescapable. We cannot know at the outset how the relationship will affect us.


Providence has hidden a charm in difficult undertakings, which is appreciated only by those who dare to grapple with them.


Don't put limitations on yourself. Other people will do that for you. Don't do that to yourself. Don't bet against yourself.


What I admire in Columbus is not his having discovered a world but his having gone to search for it on the faith of an opinion.

courage faith

If I have ventured wrongly, very well, life then helps me with its penalty. But if I haven't ventured at all, who helps me then?
No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his body, to risk his well-being, to risk his life, in a great cause.
I have noticed that doing the sensible thing is only a good idea when the decision is quite small. For the life-changing things, you must risk it.
The world lies in the hands of those who have the courage to dream and who take the risk of living out their dreams—each according to his own talent.
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
A risk-taking environment starts at the top of a corporation. If the CEO doesn't have this spirit, chances are you won't find it anywhere else in the organization.
During the first period of a man's life the greater danger is: not to take the risk.  When once the risk has been really taken then the greatest danger is to risk too much.
Risk always brings its own rewards: the exhilaration of breaking through, of getting to the other side; the relief of a conflict healed; the clarity when a paradox dissolves.
It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all.  And often enough our faith beforehand in an uncertified result is the only thing that makes the result come true.
A lot of people approach risk as if it's the enemy, when it is really fortune's accomplice. A risk you take may seem ridiculous to other people, but risk isn't random or rash when it's a necessity.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing.  He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.
Children may need challenges and high-risk conditions in order to develop the self-generated immunity to trauma that characterizes survivors.  To be tested is good.  The challenged life may be the best therapist.
Our whole way of life today is dedicated to the removal of risk.  Cradle to grave we are supported, insulated, and isolated from the risks of life—and if we fall, our government stands ready with bandaids of every size.
There comes a time in the life of every human when he or she must decide to risk "his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor" on an outcome dubious.  Those who fail the challenge are merely overgrown children, can never be anything else.


Far more is at risk when we do what we really want to do rather than something less.  I don't think we'll ever fully appreciate the role of not daring to risk a shattered dream in limiting people to second-choice careers and third-choice lives.
Under certain circumstances, changes that appear to make a system or an organization safer in fact don't. Why? Because human beings have a seemingly fundamental tendency to compensate for lower risks in one area by taking greater risks in another.
The desire to build a risk-free society has always been a sign of decadence. It has meant that the nation has given up, that it no longer believes in its destiny, that it has ceased to aspire to greatness, and has retired from history to pet itself.
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

striving victory & defeat

One hour of life, crowded to the full with glorious action, and filled with noble risks, is worth whole years of those mean observances of paltry decorum, in which men steal through existence, like sluggish waters through a marsh without either honor or observation.
Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.


You are here to risk your heart.  You are here to be swallowed up.  And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness.  Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

striving victory & defeat

One of my role models is Bob Dylan. As I grew up, I learned the lyrics to all his songs and watched him never stand still. If you look at the artists, if they get really good, it always occurs to them at some point that they can do this one thing for the rest of their lives, and they can be really successful to the outside world but not really be successful to themselves. That's the moment that an artist really decides who he or she is. If they keep on risking failure, they're still artists. Dylan and Picasso were always risking failure. This Apple thing is that way for me. I don't want to fail, of course. But even though I didn't know how bad things really were, I still had a lot to think about before I said yes. I had to consider the implications for Pixar, for my family, for my reputation. I decided that I didn't really care, because this is what I want to do. If I try my best and fail, well, I've tried my best.