Why should I move beyond risk assessment in making choices?

Deepak Chopra
Alternative & Complementary Medicine
As long as the future remains unpredictable, every decision involves some level of risk. That's the story that seems to be universally accepted, at least. We are told that certain foods put one at risk for heart attacks and cancer, for example, and therefore the rational thing is to quantify the risk and stay on the low side of the numbers. But life itself cannot be quantified. For every study that shows a quantifiable fact about heart disease (e.g., men who drink a quart of milk a day are half as likely to suffer a severe heart attack), there is another study to show that stress raises the risk of heart disease only if you are susceptible to stress (some people actually thrive on it).

Risk is mechanical. It implies that there is no intelligence behind the scenes, only a certain number of factors that result in a given outcome. You can go beyond risks by knowing that there is infinite intelligence at work in the hidden dimension of your life. At the level of this intelligence your choices are always supported. The point of looking at risks would be to see if your course of action is reasonable; you wouldn't rely on risk analysis to override far more important factors.

The factors that are being weighed at the level of deeper awareness:
  • Does this choice feel right for me?
  • Am I interested in where this choice is leading?
  • Do I like the people involved?
  • Is this choice good for my whole family?
  • Does this choice make sense given my stage in life?
  • Do I feel morally justified in making this choice?
  • Will this choice help me to grow?
  • Do I have a chance to be more creative and inspired by what I am about to do?
It's when these things go wrong that choices don't work out. The risks may be relevant, but they aren't decisive. People who can assess their choices at the deeper level of awareness are aligning themselves with infinite intelligence, and thus they have a greater chance for success than does someone who crunches the numbers.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.