What Do You Have To Lose? Kingston’s Journey #108

Life Asks Hard Questions

What do you have to lose? Everything. And nothing. Depending on how you frame the question. Let’s first start with the later. A way you can set up a response to the before mentioned question is by asking yourself:

  • What do you have to lose?
  • What do you have to gain?

Of course only you can give a direct and honest response to this question. So having said that, if it is the case that you determine that what you have to lose is minimal, while the gains are unlikely, yet unfathomably outsized, what is stopping you from going after ‘it’? Whatever it may be.

A very small example for the sake of elaboration could be applying for a job that you don’t have too high a likelihood of landing, yet if you did it would lead to an immense sense of career satisfaction. And all you have to lose is 15 minutes to submit your resume. The question then becomes: what is stopping you?

Life Demands Answers

Now as for the second frame of the question, where someone has everything to lose. This response derives from the individual that failed to act having answered the same question numerous times (or not asking the question all together.) Such an individual has missed out on countless opportunities for outsized gains that all the small chances they had have now past and now it is too late.

And that is when a person has truly lost everything. This is the person that lies on their deathbed wishing they had done so many things that didn’t make sense at the time, but could have turned into something real special. But now that time has past. There can be nothing to be done, they are crippled by regrets. I think it is safe to say that no one wants to end up as such an individual.

Therefore, never fail to answer (and act upon) life’s questions, a key one being “what do you have to lose?” Because life always demands an answer and if you fail to heed the call, someone else will do the answering for you, and it may not be to your liking.

Kingston S. Lim

July 23, 2021

Freetown, Sierra Leone


About Kingston’s Journey Series: Kingston’s Journey is a lifelong series. This is the travel journal I take with me. Whether you have questions such as how to change my life or how to travel the world, I think you’ll find value in the life lessons I’ve experienced and documented in this travel notebook. They may serve as travel inspiration for you. In Chinese, there is a saying, “讀萬卷書,不如行千里路.”

This means, instead of reading ten thousand books, why don’t you walk a thousand miles. This is my inspiration to travel every nation (or as many as possible) in my pursuit of my global MBA by learning as much as possible and recording these life lessons learned only by travel. In the end, I think the achievement of dreams, personal growth & aspirations out there through travel and adventure will lead to a more fulfilling life. Living and experiencing the “now” is how I’ll make my life a great memory in the future.

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