We asked some brilliant folks from the community to talk to us about how they think about risk and the role risk has play in their lives and careers.

Dan Mueller | Yoga Teacher, Community Organizer & Social Healer, Nonprofit Development Professional

When I hear the term or phrase “risk-taking,” I think about the way my heart starts racing when I have something important to say. When, because of the salience of my social identity and of how the content of my thoughts could be construed, I begin carefully combing through each word I wish to share. When I think about risk-taking, I reflect on how it feels to be truly seen and to be vulnerable enough to share what we each hold within. If I started a list of all the daredevil stunts the only slightly younger me pulled, risky might be putting it lightly. But for me, it was nothing. Just another day, just another activity or adventure. Just another way to show I wasn’t afraid or doubtful. Some could even say traveling abroad to developing countries, dedicating my first three years after undergraduate to unpaid service, and living and working abroad were bold moves. Read more>>

Ali Pfleger | Dancer, Choreographer, Instructor

Having a career in the arts is widely considered “risky” in and of itself. Like many artists, I struggled (and still struggle with) feeling confident in my career choice because of society’s stigma on professional artists. One of the biggest risks to date was pursing a career in dance and choreography. I feel like dance has always been in my body and daily life, but I began seriously training around age ten. My senior year of high school, I applied to multiple universities and had intentions of moving from Southern California to New York to study Criminology and Psychology at St. John’s University – that is, until the month before I was supposed to begin school. I knew from an early age that dance was my end-all-be-all, but growing up and being encouraged into adulthood put a lot of expectations on my shoulders that stifled my passion, creativity, and optimism. Read more>>

Isabela Fortes | Iyengar Yoga Teacher & Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner

I have been taking risks since I can remember. How do I assess the risks worth taking? Instincts. Yep, gut feeling. I would not be here or who I am have I not jumped face forward into big adventures. I was born in Brazil and at age 15 came to the US as an exchange student. My english was not great, I had a great life but I knew in my heart that was something that I just had to do. Ended up not only graduating high school but getting a degree at Boston University and got back home with an awesome job in the pocket. Fast forward a few years and decided to drop a promising career to move to an Ashram in India with no return ticket. From India I moved to the heart of the Amazon Forest to work for a non governmental organization helping find sustainable solutions for local population. Read more>>