On hedging your bets

In finance, hedging means that you split your investments so that if you lose on one of them, you’re likely to win on another.  If one investment wins when the weather is sunny, and another when it rains, then you don’t lose much either way. It’s a way of managing risk, so that there’s a limit to how far down misfortune can drag you.

I find that I’ve ordered my life by this principle as well.  Everything that is important to me, I’ve hedged in some way, so that I don’t lose, almost no matter what.

A lot of it has to do with how I choose to look at things.  I choose to see a win where others may choose not to.  For instance: I spend about two hours every day commuting by bus, and I use that time to read or listen to audiobooks and podcasts.  The hedge is that if traffic is good one day, I get home earlier.  If it’s bad, I get to spend more time reading a good book.

That may sound facetious, as if you can solve all problems by putting a smileyface on them.  But it really isn’t: The hedge genuinely makes me happy with either outcome.  It’s a real hedge.

Not everything can be hedged.  If I drove to work by car, bad traffic would have no upside at all for me. So I don’t do that.  It’s simple: I choose to see a hedge, or choose to create one – whenever possible.  And it’s often possible.