20 Animals That Have Unique Abilities To Catch Food Healthy Risk-Taking

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Healthy Risk-Taking

Some scientists say that between 15-20% of the animal kingdom is sitters. They are defined as having a passive attitude – “slow-to-warm” towards their environment, and “often sit on the sidelines observing.” The other 80% are animals rovers. They have more aggressiveness, making them more in tune with their environment and motivated to take action. Scientists are finding that both types of people have their evolutionary advantages depending on the situation

David Sloan Wilson, an evolutionary biologist from Binghamton University, conducted a couple of interesting experiments with astronauts and rovers. In one study, he put metal traps in a pond of pumpkin sunfish. The rovers, being more active, were the first to check the traps. Of course, they were also the first to be arrested. Sitters, because they tend to sit on the side, are impossible to catch using these traps.

However, in another experiment, Wilson moved all the fish to a new area. He found that the rovers were the most likely to start exploring their new territory and searching for food. Because of this, the rovers began to eat five days before the seats began. In this instance, the rovers are the most likely to survive.

In some cases, the sitters’ passivity directly leads to their survival (especially when their passivity helps to avoid a dangerous situation). But during other times this silence harms their ability to adapt to new environments when necessary.

“Just Do It” vs. “Look Before You Fly.”

In many personal development books we hear the mantra, “Just do it!” Take the common example of diving into a cold pool. Often, when we try to go step-by-step, the cold becomes much more unbearable. This can prevent us from acclimatizing quickly enough to work and fully submerge ourselves in water. Sometimes it’s easier to just “jump in” and get along. This is when Rover’s common behavior becomes most beneficial.

A less common phrase in personal development is “Look before you leap.” This process is different from “Just do it.” It means we take a step back and evaluate our situation more carefully before diving in. Take for example addictive behaviors like gambling or sex. If we are always working on the autopilot (automatically, without thinking) then we tend to engage in these risky behaviors without inhibition. Then you are more likely to end up with an empty bank account or an STD.

Thinking and doing need to be in balance.

Sometimes “opinion” gets a bad rep. We hear of people planning and thinking of ideas every day, but nothing productive about them. Maybe we want to approach a girl in a bar, thinking of all the things we want to say, but then we over-analyze the situation and cripple ourselves from ever approaching. In such cases, overthinking can turn out to be a bad thing. For some people it is very easy to get “stuck in their head” and never enter into their body.

On the other hand, thinking too little can make us stupid or careless. If we don’t think about the consequences of our actions, then we can forget something important and pay the price later. People who live recklessly (without predicting the future) tend not to have very good futures, because they fall into mistakes that can be avoided by being more thoughtful and careful.

Smart risk-taking.

The balance between thinking and doing will depend on what you are trying to achieve.

As I said before, finding a girl at the bar can be something that is easy to “do alone.” What’s the worst that could happen? Will you say something stupid and embarrass yourself? Will you write? Perhaps the worst incident that took place?

The risks and costs are minimal, so there is little sense in worrying about it. However, some people do not face this concern because they are convinced that this small shame is the worst thing in the world. That’s not smart risk – that’s negative risk avoidance. You will probably never see the girl again and will forget about the experience by the end of the week. Don’t make a big deal out of anything.

The same goes for jumping into a cold lake.

Of course, there are other situations that we may find ourselves in where the risks are greater and the costs are increased. How to invest your retirement funds. That’s one thing worth thinking about ditching and make sure you go over all the information before making your decision. Making one mistake could cost you all the money you’ve saved over the years – that’s huge. That’s when you need to be smarter, reduce the loss of risk, and try to play more safely. Being careless with your savings is a disaster waiting to happen.

Depression and uncertainty.

All risk is a result of uncertainty. The future may be somewhat predictable, but we never know what will happen. It is often this uncertainty that makes us anxious before choosing a path.

Depression is a form of forward thinking – it looks into the future and sees where things are might go wrong We worry before we speak in public because we don’t know if it will go well or if we might embarrass ourselves.

The same is true for any type of social anxiety or work anxiety.

Of course, some thoughts are good. Differentiating “good anxiety” from “bad anxiety” is an important part of smart decision making and risk taking. Sometimes anxiety is an important sign that we should not follow a certain path because the potential consequences are great. A water city in the sky will cause us more anxiety than petting a bunny because the risks of sky water are very high. When people develop “irrelevant” fears about bunnies, that’s often a sign of an unhealthy phobia – because the fear is disproportionate to the dangers.

Mundane tasks (such as putting on your shoes or picking up the paper) do not always bring much anxiety because they are familiar, and therefore you enter with a great certainty of how the event will unfold. Only if someone has a bad experience in a bath will he develop the problem and the uncertainty that the bad event can repeat itself.

Does your concern match the risks?

As I said before, we often consider anxiety “unnecessary” if it does not match the potential risks. Some people are afraid to be in the same room as a plant, even when they understand that it poses no real threat. Depression can be incompatible with risks based on a number of factors: ignorance of an experience, a faulty belief system, or a traumatic experience.

Some unhealthy worries can be overcome by trying to change our thoughts (as in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). We can change our perspective by looking at a situation from a different angle.

Sometimes we put too much importance on the present moment, but miss the bigger picture.

Let’s go back to the approaching a girl in a bar example. At this point, you may know that he will absolutely SUCK if the girl rejects him and embarrasses him in front of his friends. You’ll be a laughing stock for the rest of the night.

But if zoom out and see the bigger pictureyou always know that this event is not as important as you make it out to be.

Imagine yourself in the 90s looking back on your college experiences in a bar: would you really like it if 70 years ago some girl pushed you a beer, or punched you in the face, or told your friends off your cheesy opening? Maybe not. In fact, you’ll probably regret it more if you don’t take those small risks in the first place. Those little mistakes are what make your life richer (and besides, you have good stories to tell your grandchildren!)

This is a simple example of how adjusting your appearance can give you the freedom to take these small risks. Because they are that – few the dangers. And although at the time you may experience a little pain and discomfort, in the end these short-term costs can often lead to long-term satisfaction.

Too risk-avoided.

When individuals become very dangerous, they are chronic “sitters” – always sitting on the sidelines, doing nothing, and not taking any chances with their lives. As we know, sometimes this type of behavior can be very beneficial, but other times it prevents us from adapting to life in a more effective way. It prevents us from growing personally.

Even when we try to avoid risk-taking altogether, it is something we cannot completely avoid. Every time we don’t, we risk losing opportunities to improve our lives. On your deathbed, you may find yourself regretting all those times you didn’t take risks. “What ifs” can hurt you, and sometimes it’s better to try something and fail (and fail) than never try at all.

In the end, taking a healthy risk is about balance.

At the end of the day, I think it’s clear that we need to find a balance between risk seeking and risk avoidance. We should try to recognize times where we should be more careful and safe in our decision making, but also recognize other times where risks may be worth taking.

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