Personal Safety and Security – What Would You Have Given to Avoid the Loss?

When it comes to personal safety and security, we have many choices to make. We can take:

  • precautions and assure our safety
  • chances and perhaps come out lucky
  • undue risks and possibly have serious regrets

Each of these options have been exercised by all of us at one time or another. We count on ourselves to make these decisions every day. How do we make decisions as to which path we’ll take? We need to understand how to do it well if we’re going to stay safe. For each of us the answer may be different, but many times the right answer can be found simply by examining our values.

It’s what we value that’s important, and that’s how we make most of our decisions. The impatient value time. Our elders value health and longevity. Those willing to pay $2 for a soft drink at a vending machines at a rest stop value convenience. These are a sampling of our values, and each causes us to make judgments as to what we’re going to do in terms of personal safety, financial security and other risk versus gain propositions.

Whenever you find yourself wondering whether personal safety and security measures are worthwhile, just imagine the following:

What I feared could go wrong indeed did go wrong, and now I’m faced with the consequences. I’ve incurred a cost. How could I have done this differently to avoid the problems I’m now saddled with? Knowing the mess I’m in now, and understanding that I can turn back the hands of time, what value do I see in the precautionary measures now?

They key is to imagine yourself already in the undesirable situation and then ask yourself what it would be worth to have avoided the mess in the first place. The “how much” part is the value, and imagining yourself already in the undesirable situation helps us place proper value on the precautionary measures. Otherwise, we’re likely just kidding ourselves with “it’ll never happen to me” thinking.

Looking back as if the adverse event has already taken place is a good way to help us assign realistic values to issues of personal safety and security. Only when we have a realistic value assigned can we make good decisions about the price of safety and security with respect to our:

  • convenience
  • money
  • time
  • pride

Many people say that Murphy is everywhere. As associate of mine used to say, “When you think there won’t be any problems, that’s when you have problems.” And, I like to think that at one time or another, we are “the other guy” that things are always happening to, so it pays to take personal safety and security seriously.

Simply think of the reasonably likely consequences, and ask yourself what it would be worth to you to avoid them. That should help you assign reasonable value to measures that are intended to help ensure your safety and security.