Moonshots

The psychological benefits of taking risk

  • Putting all the world’s information at our fingertips (Google)
  • Mass production of electric vehicles (Tesla)
  • Sequencing the human genome
  • Quitting my job — I quit my job in 2012 and moved to Charlotte, a city where I knew no one. I was told I was making the biggest career mistake of my life. Walking away from a high-paying job that I could have stayed comfortably at for decades. It sure was scary, but I wanted more. I wanted another challenge professionally. I wanted a better climate and a better place to raise my kids. So I shot my shot. So far, it’s worked out.
  • Writing a book — I had serious imposter syndrome when I sat down to write my first book, CFA Confidential. Who was I to write a book? I was in sales before that! I had no writing credentials. And just to make it particularly egregious, I then had the gumption to FedEx copies of the manuscript to the world’s top-20 investors. A serious moonshot. I never heard back from 19 of them. But one of them responded. Charles Brandes. He’s a billionaire and one of the richest living Americans. He loved the book and his quote now graces its cover. Seven years later, the book still sells. Who gave me permission to do this? No one. I shot my shot.
  • Starting a podcast — I started a podcast for my company in 2018. I had zero experience on a microphone and not one person told me it was a good idea to do. We’ve now recorded 50 episodes and have over 5000 subscribers. What gave me the right? Nothing. It was a shot.
  • Crazy streaks — I had a goal of working out every day for a year. That’s crazy. I ended up going 483 days and wrote about it here. I also had a goal of not drinking for a year. That happened, too. Who was I to do these things? No one. I just did them. I took a shot. Don’t worry though… they certainly haven’t all ended well. Case in point: My year without dessert. It ended after a month. Damn you, sugar. Too strong to resist.

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Greg Campion

Follow me at gregcampion.substack.com for my latest articles on motivation, habits, careers and physical & mental health.