The 4 Worst Things A Man Can Risk

What are you willing to risk in the pursuit of a better life?

If you’re like most men, here’s your list:

1. Time
2. Capital
3. Health
4. Family

Most men happily pour tremendous amounts of time and money into their projects, with the depletion of their health and family relationships as a second-order consequence.

You spend these currencies… put these things at risk NOT because that is what your project requires to succeed, but because these are the currencies you are most comfortable spending.

The outside world sees the way we grind out the hours, the way we pony up the cash, the way we burn the candle at both ends, and laud it as courageous sacrifice.

But deep down we know: it is all illusion.

For the truth is that martyrdom comes easy to us. It is easier, in a way, for us to die for someone than to live for them… easier to grimly suffer than to flourish.

And so we go on reckless, risking what is most precious and irreplaceable in pursuit of goals that we somehow, despite our outpour, never reach.

The tragedy is two-fold:

Not only do we risk what we can’t afford to lose…

But the risk is ineffectual.

Why else would you have so little to show for all your sacrifice?

HERE are the things you should be risking instead…

HERE are the currencies with the power to truly change your life:

1. Heart
2. Reputation
3. Comfort

Can you bear, again, to believe? Can you bear to uphold and champion and work towards a vision no one else can see? Can you bear to trust others to come alongside you and help bring your vision to life? Can you bear to be the emotional fountainhead for your family? Can you bear to set yourself on a path that will demand levels of courage and service and presence you’re not yet capable of?

THAT is what it means to risk heart.

Can you bear to do and say things that others may find stupid, foolish, or wrong? Can you bear to be misunderstood by dozens, hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people? Can you bear to have your motives attacked and questioned on a public stage? Can you bear to act in ways that shatter your friends’ and family’s ideas of who you are? Can you bear to be the inevitable lighting rod for haters, trolls, and malcontents… to become the dumping ground for other people’s hate and hurt?

THAT is what it means to risk reputation.

Can you bear to run your life, your business, your projects in a way that stretches, frightens, and exposes you on a daily basis? Can you bear to seek out profound problems, and lash yourself to their solving? Can you bear to let go of the patterns and habits of a “normal” life to chart a new, wilder path… to solve, always, for growth and expansion rather than rest, leisure, or reassurance?

THAT is what it means to risk comfort.

Time, money, health, family… these are not yours to give. They are all wrapped in the fabric of family life… co-owned with your wife and children.

Your reputation, your comfort, your heart… these alone are yours to risk.

What’s more, they are the only currencies with the power to truly transform you.

You think risking them unbearable, “off limits”… yet that is precisely what your entire life is waiting for.

And, unlike risks to health and family, the more you risk your heart, reputation, and comfort… the more you punish and stretch and strain them… the stronger you become.

Stop risking what is irreplaceable and ineffectual:

Start risking what is unbreakable and game-changing.

That is the thread that unravels your life in the most deliciously terrifying way imaginable.

So start pulling.

Bryan Ward is the founder of Third Way Man and author of the LIT Black Paper


  1. That all sounds great, even poetic, but you offer no real ideas let alone solutions to illustrate, teach or example it, so it’s just prose, just words.

  2. Furthermore, the fact that you moderate comments belies the “heart” of this article.

  3. This is beautiful.

  4. Its so hypholuten. I am looming for something i can apply to my life on a daily. How can you make the article more that?

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