The Old Woman Principle

February 5, 2017

Categories: Risk

I read a book recently in which the author talked about something called the Old Woman Principle. I liked it so much, I’m trying to implement it in my life moving forward.

The author shared that often she struggled to take risks in her life. Instead of really going for it, she mostly played it safe. Although this way of doing life kept her out of trouble, she felt like she wasn’t living a full life and she wasn’t reaching her true potential.

Enter the Old Woman Principle. When she was weighing whether to do something risky, she asked herself the following question:

When I am an old woman in my 90s, will I regret having passed up on this chance?

If the answer was yes, she took the risk.

Maybe you can connect with this woman’s story. I know in my own life, I often get caught up worrying about things that don’t really matter in the long run. Sometimes these worries can paralyze me and stop me from doing something that is actually in my best interests.

The Old Woman Principle advocates for taking the long view. It asks us to consider the end of our story, the ideal ending we want to have. In light of that ending, what decision should we make right now to get us closer to where we want to be?

Discussion: What do you think of the Old Woman Principle? How could you apply this principle to a decision you are currently struggling with?


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