50 Awesome Quotes on Risk Taking

by Mitch Ditkoff

50 Awesome Quotes on Risk Taking1. “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” — Goethe

2. “Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” — Helen Keller

3. “It’s not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It’s because we dare not venture that they are difficult.” — Seneca

4. “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go.” — T.S. Eliot

5. “What you have to do and the way you have to do it is incredibly simple. Whether you are willing to do it is another matter.” — Peter Drucker

6. “Go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.” — Jimmy Carter

7. “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” — Pablo Picasso

8. “Life is being on the wire, everything else is just waiting. — Karl Wallenda

9. “If things seem under control, you are just not going fast enough.” — Mario Andretti

10. “Don’t be afraid to take a big step. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.” — David Lloyd George

11. “It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all.” — William James

12. “Do one thing every day that scares you.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

13. “Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else’s.” — Billy Wilder

14. “The dangers of life are infinite, and among them is safety.” — Goethe

15. “Do not fear mistakes. There are none.” — Miles Davis

16. “A man would do nothing, if he waited until he could do it so well that no one would find fault with what he has done.” — Cardinal Newman

17. “Test fast, fail fast, adjust fast.” — Tom Peters

18. “Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

19. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain

20. “Leap and the net will appear.” — Zen Saying

21. “The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you. Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” — William Jennings Bryan

22. “Pearls don’t lie on the seashore. If you want one, you must dive for it.” — Chinese proverb

23. “Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome.” — Samuel Johnson

24. “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” — Anais Nin

25. “Are you placing enough interesting, freakish, long shot, weirdo bets?” — Tom Peters

26. “Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.” — General George Patton

27. “I can accept failure. Everybody fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. Fear is an illusion.” — Michael Jordan

28. “Opportunity dances with those on the dance floor.” — Anonymous

29. “Yes, risk-taking is inherently failure-prone. Otherwise, it would be called ‘sure-thing-taking.'” — Jim McMahon

30. “People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.” — Peter Drucker

31. “Necessity is the mother of taking chances.” — Mark Twain

32. “99 percent of success is built on failure.” — Charles Kettering

33. “Progress always involves risks. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.” — Frederick Wilcox

34. “What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?” — Robert Schuller

35. “Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers.” — Mignon McLaughlin

36. “You can only be as good as you dare to be bad.” — John Barrymore

37. “Anything that is successful is a series of mistakes.” — Billie Armstrong

38. “Give me the young man who has brains enough to make a fool of himself.” — Robert Louis Stevenson

39. “If it’s a good idea, go ahead and do it. It’s much easier to apologize than it is to get permission.” — Rear Admiral Grace Hopper

40. “If you risk nothing, then you risk everything.” — Geena Davis

41. “Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.” — Fyodor Dostoevsky

42. “Remember, a dead fish can float down a stream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream.” — W.C. Fields

43. “Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.” — Anonymous

44. “To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.” — Soren Kierkegaard

45. “You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” — Wayne Gretzky

46. “It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves.” — Andre Gide

47. “Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

48. “One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” — Andre Gide

49. “Danger can never be overcome without taking risks.” — Latin Proverb

50. “I’ll play it first, and tell you what it is later.” — Miles Davis

Thanks to Val Vadeboncoeur for gathering these goodies. If you have other favorites, let us know.

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Mitch DitkoffMitch Ditkoff is the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions and the author of “Awake at the Wheel”, as well as the very popular Heart of Innovation blog.

No comments

  1. Great list! Very inspiring!

  2. Hi – good quotes.
    It is interesting that you call this “quotes on risk taking”. In most of these quotes, what I read are statements from people who talk about having the confidence and conviction to act on ideas.

    Why do you assume that means risk taking?

    My big beef about the term “risk taking” is that I have yet to have someone tell me what I would do differently to be a risk taker. When I interview people who would be called “innovators” few say that they are risk takers – most say that they solved the problem in a new way or they conceived a far better way to do something. Often they see risks in not doing something new as this continues the status quo.

    Saying this, if I have no concept of where their idea came from or any concept of the context or value of the result, I may view their behaviour as risky.

    Any thoughts?

  3. Thanks a bunch for the great list. Now if we can get the nay sayers to read this list… 🙂

  4. Ed: Good point. Well said. I call it ‘risk taking’ only because so many people do not have the confidence or conviction to follow through on their inspired ideas. Somehow, they THINK it’s a risk. Maybe this list would be better named “50 AWESOME QUOTES ON THE COURAGE TO INNOVATE.”

  5. another favorite: A peasant must stand a long time on a hillside with his mouth open before a roast duck flies in. Chinese proverb

  6. Some one wise once noted:-

    “If you are not on the edge you are taking up space”

  7. As an inventor, entrepreneur, ED, right on! As for the list and the comments above, I love you all! ;-D

    Conviction can make you appear crazy, .. but stay the road you must if at all possible, .. one “crazy” guy had the nerve to think we rotated around the sun and they through him in jail, … oh darn, he was right.

    Todays innovators lead the way for tomorrows consumers. Thanks all!

  8. “Our fears should be practiced, time will tell when they were just a moment of our past, being overcome”

  9. “Never let fear limit you. If you do, it has taken control of your life, to get rid of a fear turn it into a hobbie of interest and do it until you master it”

  10. “I mastermind, then go after mine” do not fear, it should be an understatement of a something you struggle in. Attempt that fear with confidence of becomming the strength.

  11. I would have thought Jim Estill’s “Fail often, Fail fast, Fail cheap” would have made the list.

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