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Some Business Professionals And Winter Olympians Share Risk-Taking Behavior

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Why do Winter Olympic athletes risk injury and possible death for their sport? At the upcoming games in Vancouver, gutsy athletes will be flying down the bobsled track, downhill skiers will be recording enormous speeds, and snowboarders will be flying well above the half pike.
What do many of these Winter Olympians have in common? According to sports psychologist Dr. Gregg Steinberg, author of Full Throttle : 122 Strategies To Supercharge Your Performance At Work, these athletes get a charge out of risky, daredevil behaviors.
In Dr. Steinberg's opinion, the athletes that live on the edge actually share a common trait with risk-taking CEOs and entrepreneurs - low serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps the brain function.
"Having low serotonin is analogous to a car idling in low gear," Dr. Steinberg explains. "High-risk behavior stimulates the serotonin production in the brain of high-risk takers and shifts their brain into high gear. The stimulation of high-risk situations, therefore, is rewarding and these individuals gravitate toward this type of behavior."
In his new book, Dr. Steinberg discusses the importance of being aware of your risk-taking style so that you can use it to your advantage. "As with many of the tremendous athletes competing in Vancouver, some business professionals also get a charge from risk. This has guided their everyday behaviors, what careers were pursued and which ones avoided, and how they might communicate."
Dr. Steinberg says if you answer "yes" to four of the five following questions you probably have a risk-taking personality:
1. Do you like driving fast in the rain?
2. Do you enjoy a good roller coaster?
3. Do you like downhill skiing when there is a chance of injury?
4. Do you enjoy living life on the edge?
5. Are your decisions considered risky and edgy?
"Engaging in high-risk behavior doesn't necessarily mean acting impulsively, but it is important to have a plan," Steinberg said. "Just because you may not want a net when you leap does not mean you should not have a plan when you land."
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