4. Calculated RISK of opportunity

previous article: The essence of engineering and technology 

“There is much in the world to make us afraid.

There is much more in our faith to make us unafraid”.

~Frederick W. Cropp

Risk is a most interesting part of life and a characteristic of the youth! If directed in proper way the risk can be managed without any sort of hazard. Fear is always associated with the risk, it’s an interesting feeling some people fear the ‘fear’ and restrain themselves from the challenges, While some embrace their fears and achieve greatest success in their life. What make them successful is they take calculated risks by believing in their self rather than just following adhoc methods. It is these ‘calculated risks’ which converts the hazardous risks into opportunities and hence success.

watch the following video, its not explicitly related with technology but the  implicit message is more important… to DARE.

Complexity and risks are inherent in the technology, so rather than staying away from it and being dependent on somebody else, one should run towards it just like shown in video. The complexity, risk and fear are inherent part of engineering and technology one should accept this eternal truth and just go for it with scientific temper.

Remember in technology if your logic is correct based on scientific fact, nothing can go wrong as long as you are working with scientific temper. Your calculated risk in such cases will always turn as risk of opportunity making your experiment a fruitful event.

The Risk in general terms…

To be expert in techworld you need to be more practical than just cramming the theory. In fact it’s not at all difficult to execute most of the part of theory into practice. A lot of risk is obviously inherent in all these activities but you should be always ready to accept these risks. In plain English ‘risk is likelihood of occurrence of a hazardous event and the consequences associated with it, like some injury or financial damage. Risk is of two type risk of failure and risk of opportunity. There is something known as calculate risk. Risk is calculated, when you know what you are doing and you can predict possible consequences based on your observations and previous knowledge. A risk is called as  risk of failure when the risk in the project becomes reality and causes catastrophic effects on the project, that is failure. In most of the cases Risk becomes reality due to ignorance and unawareness. It is possible to control every risk if we adopt a proper strategy to deal with it.

when you accept a new endeavor or a project, always some sort of risk is associated with it. You recognize the risk involve in the project and you still carry your activity and you successfully achieve the result managing all the risks cautiously then the risk in such cases is called as risk of opportunity. it is called as opportunity since such risk not only boosts your confidence but also motivates you to pursue next level in your work, opening new doors of possibilities. ‘Nothing succeeds like success’ just like that. this also increases your credibility in the society and between your colleagues.

Converting a Risk into Success.

To understand above theory let’s put together it in practice with following video clips, again it is not directly related with the technology. But you can easily relate it with what i want to convey, ‘converting risk of failure into risk of opportunity and hence success’.

the clip is from movie Shaolin Soccer. The clips are from hindi translated version of the movie. There are 2 clips, in first part the actress is shown as  a chef in a small hotel where she cooks pastries using her special kunfu-skills. Watch how she uses her talent,

in next part when the team`s goal keeper suffers from injury and the team has no replacement, the actress turn in to the game as replacement player, Despite of the fact she has never played a single game of football. what happen next is this article is all about.

let me help you to relate the concept, in this scenario the ball is most crucial and volatile aspect of the game. If it enters in her goal post then for her team it is failure, but if it is in opponents goal post then it is success. Considering what had happened with previous keeper, standing in front of the ball was a risk, risk of injury. considering that she was playing her first football game there was also risk involved in she acting as goal keeper. overall there were two risks of failure- risk of injury and risk of scoring goal. but in spite of all this she accepted the challenge and stood to defend the goalpost.  when the opponent player got hold on the ball she kept faith in her skills and by using then she converted the catastrophic impact of ball into a mild attack and hence prevented the goal. Then she got full command on the ball using her skills again. i.e. she converted the risk of failure into risk of opportunity; an opportunity to score goal on opponent. With teamwork finally her team did score the goal and emerge as the winner of the game.

Life is all about this: identifying your skills, having faith in it and using them when the situation demands. Risk is muddled up by the fear factor, just overcome your fear, perceive the problem at its root, just be yourself and deal with the problem… you are bound to be successful. So to convert a ‘risk of failure’ into ‘risk of opportunity’ followed by ‘success’ you need to understand the system, know your skills, identifying your mentors and have faith in all.

If you have seen the video cautiously then you will notice that the girl uses her kung-fu skills as situation demands,  for cooking, for mixing the flour, for catching the pot, and finally while playing football. that’s what optimization, flexibility and adaptation is all about. Just like that you too can relate your skills like reading, dancing, singing etc. with your study, play and even while working in techworld. (if not exactly the skills at least the side products, confidence being one of them.)

  • Technology is for all

Let me clear something about the technology world, it is not like that this area is a privilege of someone or you need to be gifted or something like that, neither it is fact that this is male chauvinistic field. Infact girls can also do equally well if they believe in their selves. As per my observation its natural female tendency to be on safe side and tendency to restrain from the risk factor and hence complexity of technology. girls should look to break this ‘illusion of control‘.

You should be always ready to take risks in this field, not just calculated but sometimes risk as it is without prior knowledge of the activity. in any case the experiment fails then you should have a mitigation strategy to bring the system back to normal.

What drives the engine of progress in the world of technology is your anxiety, patience and never giving up attitude- ‘A real warrior never quits’. (watch kung-fu panda, it is one of my favorite movie)  all of these driving agents needs engineering spirit as their driver, vision of the engineer. as discussed in the article, essence of engineering and technology the two aspects, engineering and technology are interrelated and complies each other.

  • Illusion of control

Illusion of control is anything that holds you back from taking an action just because you think you are not worth of doing it. the concrete wall of assumption in which  you  try to enclose most volatile thing in the world… your mind. Problems, mistakes, fear all of these lies in your perception- illusion of control,

‘your problem is not actually your problem, your reaction to the problem is actually your problem’.

Therefore you must let go the illusion of the control to achieve the greatest success, what you truly deserve. To break the illusion of control  you must break the wall and be open to accept the truth. your own mistake will help you a lot, learning from history is very crucial aspect of our life, one who learns from own mistakes as well as others mistakes achieves the heights in less duration with less pain. (Hard work is inherent part of success so I say less pain (: )

Remember the last glory you achieved and keep in mind that you have done this before and now you are going to achieve it again. It really works but just don’t give up at all, you will be successful.

  • Learning from the mistakes…
“One of the greatest and most comforting truths is that when one door closes,
another door opens, but often we look so long and regretfully upon the closed door
that we do not see the one that open for us.”


Your passion for the work that’s all matters, success is just matter of time, because in life no body ask how badly you fail but they always look upon how you stood up after falling. This is the most important lesson your should always remember in your failures, don’t keep crying after being fail, as failure is also relative term and momentary truth. It doesn’t mean that you are not going to achieve it ever but just not at that time.

In such situation you should analyze the system to check which risk became reality and if there was something unexpected factor which caused the damage. Learning from the mistake is what I call this. Learning from the mistakes and avoiding repetition of mistakes is crucial aspect of engineering and technology education. One irony is that you are always open to do new mistakes, as most of the discoveries are accidental not intentional. But it’s also very important to learn from the mistakes each time.

learning from the mistakes involve taking note of own mistakes as well as listening to the advice of your mentor or experienced person to reduce risk. It also include learning lesson from others mistakes. This activity helps in self criticism and acts as barrier in yourself and the evil of ego.

  • Help yourself

While working you should always try to do things on your own based on some guidelines. It can be based on your previous knowledge or guide lines from manual or blog. If you came across any difficulty try to solve it using Google and if that also don’t work, ask your trusted guide. A guide can be anyone, topper of your class, your subject teacher or any teacher, your friend. Just make sure that he actually knows about the technology about which you are going to ask.

to get clear cut idea how it works just check out the following flowchart. the flowchart is how we people learn any new software, i have learn photoshop just like that!

trust me technology is this simple, your patience, endurance, anxiety and logic that’s all it take!

So all along this article I want to say that, risk is inherent part of technical education and rather than fearing it, one should accept it as a challenge and just go for it based on own logic and past experience if any. Learning process should be on going while doing any project. The doors of technology are open for such persons only and are independent of any other factor.


i know that this article was a bit of heavy so i am writing this part separately,

  1. always have faith in yourself in your skills. never underestimate yourself.
  2. have faith in your mentors, teachers and technology. respect them.
  3. success and failure are momentary truths so don’t get over exited by success and depressed by failure. enjoy it n learn from both.
  4. never repeat your mistake, although you are free to do new mistakes but learning  lesson from it is most important. (this doesn’t mean your work should be error prone (; )
  5. don’t run away from the problems and difficulty, just go for it with scientific temper and test the fruits success that you truly deserve.
  6. ‘an original is hard to find but easy to recognize’: know your skills sharpen them with help of your mentors, role model but never loose your originality. don’t discard yourself, be more of it.
  7. ‘opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work’. don’t run away from the work, optimize it for your benefits. your assignments are just another form of opportunity, have you ever thought of it in this way?
  8. ‘keep your face to the sunshine and you will never see the shadows’. (follow the above 7 steps and you will never regret for what you are and what you are doing)

in the next article i have tried to introduced you with the world of open source. open source is something which cannot be told what it is one has to be there to feel it. (just kidding, this blog is also part of open source.) nevermind! check out the next part of article, open source true essence of freedom.

This article is dedicated to one of my favorite teacher and friend Ms. priya nagwekar, who imparted above mentioned skills in me n all my friends during our academics, by concealing the complexity of engineering management stuff in general terms.

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