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Take the Risk: Learning to Identify, Choose, and Live with Acceptable Risk

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  868 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews
You can find our culture's obsession with avoiding risk everywhere, from multiple insurance policies to crash-tested vehicles. But is ducking risk the most productive way for us to live? Surgeon and author Dr. Ben Carson, who faces risk on a daily basis, offers an inspiring message on how accepting risk can lead us to a higher purpose.
ebook, 237 pages
Published May 26th 2009 by Zondervan (first published January 1st 2007)
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Ben Carson discussions are about his neuroscientific experiences, and how he lost some of his clients in OR, but still relies on God to help him save lives. How we have to take risks?
1. Everything is Risky
2. More we know, more we worry
3. A lot of risks aren't worth the worry
4. we can't eliminate all risk
5. minimizing risk is oten the best we can do
6. acceptable risks
7. not all risks are bad
8. all going to die

Furthermore, he speaks about his life in Detroit like he did in his other book "The Big
Victor Nyachieo
Another Great book I read this year was “Taking the Risk” by Ben Carson.
When we look at today’s culture we see a world of people who like to play it safe, who like to do just enough to get by. In the book by Ben Carson he teaches you how to take risks, not the life threatening risks like jumping of a building and seeing if you can land the jump, but the risks that take you to a high level of success.
Prior to the writing of this book, Carson was approached with a lot of questions about whethe
Jan 01, 2014 Jeanette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: living, non-fiction
World Renown paedatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson gives his approach to assessing risk using gripping examples from his own "at-risk" childhood, his personal life and professional career - especially with ground breaking operations such as separating cranial co-joined twins. There is no doubt that Ben Carson knows something about risk taking!

Many of his examples of risk assessment and risk taking overlap content in his previous books, however I appreciated these practical and gripping examples of
Feb 20, 2010 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned of Ben Carson after my daughter was encouraged by her teacher to watch the made for TV movie about Dr Carson, with Cuba Gooding Jr in the starring role. Shortly thereafter I saw this book at Costco, and bought it.

The book is part motivation and part autobiography.

If there was ever an 'at risk' youth, it would be Carson. Growing up with his brother in a single parent home, with an illiterate mother, in a very poor and violent neighborhood in inner city Detroit, Carson was a poor studen
Oct 22, 2011 Joel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well written perspective of the risks most of us face in our everyday lives. Dr. Carson offers a professional spin on risk taking. He is among the neurosurgeons on a team who in 2003 attempted to separate a pair of Iranian twins conjoined at the head. The twins were 29 years old and old enough to accept their choice to be separated as a calculated risk. Ultimately, the risk they took ended in hemorrhaging, organ failures, and death. However, it could've been easily seen as a risk worth taki ...more
Dec 10, 2012 Anitra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book really has me rethinking my current path. By doing his simple BWA, you can bargain on whatever risk you encounter easily. I really enjoyed the experiences embedded in this book and I had a hard time putting it down. I was most moved by his inclusion of faith in taking risks. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is at a crossroads in life and contemplating risks. It will make you view them through an new light and not become paralyzed by fear of risks.
Jonathan Linquist
Aug 19, 2013 Jonathan Linquist rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though occasionally repetitive on the B/WA, I found this book to be extremely encouraging in not just my physical life, but also my spiritual life. He drives home the point that nothing good in life comes without risk and Ben Carson offers a logical and simple solution of the B/WA. This book shows that in a society where not taking risks is becoming the norm, many won't reach their full potential in any discipline because of their fear of the possibilities of failure.

Jun 25, 2013 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I liked: I liked the section where he discussed evolution vs creationism, he put across very eloquently the assertion that believing in evolution requires faith as much as believing in creationism does. His work as a medical scientist is also pretty cool.

What I didn't like: his life seemed a little bit more like a load of lucky breaks than just sound risk analysis - he was given more opportunities than most and seized them, and his experiences are not representative of most people's (and s
Jul 13, 2008 Kirsten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"odds that you will die at some point in your life: 1 in 1. thus, you might say the greatest, most significant, and universal risk factor in death is being born. this implies that it really isn't very helpful to approach the subject of risk by focusing on how we might die; rather, it's far wiser to consider how we should live and what risks we will live with."

"far better is it to dare mighty things than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much." - t. roosevelt

"it al
I'm going through my old books and notice that my book mark in this one is on the last chapter so I assume I didn't finish this book. I didn't think it was great at the time I read it. I probably won't give it another chance. I think it could've been a decent enough essay or long article, but as a book I remember thinking it was pretty redundant. Sure, go ahead and read it if you can borrow it or buy it cheap. Otherwise, find someone's quality review of it and you'll probably get the idea.
Fred & Marlene
Jul 07, 2008 Fred & Marlene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This is absolutely one the best books on risk you will ever read. Dr. Carson is a world famous brain surgeon that had very humble beginnings in the slums of Detroit. Raised by an illiterate mother, when his grades started to fall, she made Ben and his brother read two books a week and give her the report. This sparked his thirst for knowledge and made him cool in the classroom.

He shares his best/worst analysis to analyzing risk. What is the Best/Worst thing that can happen if I do this? What is
Christopher M.
This was a very interesting book on risk-assessment, presented as an autobiography. The first few chapters I found to be particularly engaging and compelling, as we see an at-risk child become an accomplished neurosurgeon. The rest of the book travels through Carson's life and professional career, helping to justify his assertion about the best way to determine what are acceptable types and levels of risk. The topics covered seemed at times to have a bit of an agenda, and were often hodge-podgey ...more
Vallentino J. Rehatta
The 4th book of Dr. Benjamin Carson, a famous neurosurgeon and director of pediatric neurosurgery department at John Hopkins Hospital Baltimore telling me about how to take a risk when no one be able to do that.

He tell stories about several operation procedure that he and his team perform in the effort of saving children who severe condition in their brain. And he admit God involve in each of his work, after he give it up to the higher Creator.

Its a must to read this, especially for those who in
My assumption of what this book would be was inaccurate. I expected a guide on risk analysis; instead this book was a step by step analysis of the risks Carson has taken in his life.

Analyzing risk isn’t addressed in depth until Chapter 9 where Carson identifies four questions that should be asked to analyze risk in any situation. He promises that by using this method, it’s impossible to make the incorrect decision.

I did appreciate some of the advice including one point to remember. When determ
Nov 21, 2014 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ben Carson with Gregg Lewis / Take the Risk
Learning to Identify, Choose, and Live with Acceptable Risk

Dr. Ben Carson, professor of neurosurgery, plastic surgery, oncology, and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, has co-authored three previous books about his own experiences, with emphasis on what others can learn from them. He has a new book now (summer 2014) about the future of America.

This book is - obviously - about risk, relying heavily on Carson’s personal, academic, and prof
Sep 07, 2015 Jodi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Geleta Gonei
Jan 10, 2015 Geleta Gonei rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a story-rich explanation of consider risk, and how to make risky decision. I enjoyed the first 50 pages afterword you don't need to read it if you have read his previous book (Gifted handed), he just copy and paste half of the story from that book. I am kind of disappointed. There's no insight or tools to help you look inside yourself to determine the level of risky acceptance to you. Other than that I love the entire book boils down to a simple formula. Ask yourself 4 question?
- w
Catherine Gillespie
In Take the Risk: Learning to Identify, Choose, and Live with Acceptable Risk, Ben Carson–Yale grad, head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, and one of the top neurosurgeons in the world–describes the simple framework he uses to assess risk in his work, and then describes how the same framework can be applied to all sorts of decisions in work, relationships, parenting, and serious national and international issues. The point, Carson opines, is that a simple, balanced, thoughtful assessm ...more
Donna Engler
Apr 13, 2016 Donna Engler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly Remarkable

Of course I've heard of Dr. Ben Carson. I was disappointed when he had to drop out of the upcoming presidential race, but I had no idea he was so knowledgeable until I read this book.
Reading about the conjoined twins surgeries was fascinating. His theories about best/worst analyses are immensely interesting. There were many medical terms and words that I had never heard before, but my own grown daughter had proton radiation therapy last year, which was successful, so when he ta
Feb 05, 2013 Rachael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting look at the implications of being a culture that has attempted eradicate any type of risk. Where's the adventure in that?
Blake Ruehrwein
From the standpoint that the book was meant to impact (teaching us how to take acceptalbe risks & make the best use of them), I didn't like it. I wasn't inspired by those stories.

BUT from the standpoint of a Christian, testifying how he has incorporated his FAITH into his WORK, I think it's great. Great examples of how to not back down or shy away when topics of what you believe come up, especially relating to how what you believe might conflict with culture.

Example: Your personal choices,
Jul 28, 2011 Marie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a literary masterpiece, but offers sound advice and a formula for making decisions.
Kay Nuzum
Aug 13, 2015 Kay Nuzum rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I told my son about Think Big and he is now using it in his middle school Career classes as suggested reading for extra credit. He has already seen very positive results and miraculous impact for otherwise at risk or unmotivated learners. I am taking this to our county School Board and then State Board of Education to suggest the Think Big book become required reading. Our learning curve would skyrocket if children and teachers utilize the philosophy and concepts provided by Ben Carson
Ben Zornes
In a culture that wants to bubble-wrap our kids, eat gluten & MSG free, as well as hand-sanitize everything, and yet doesn’t see the problem of the bigger risks facing us (i.e. $17 trillion debt, failing education, and horrendous health care system), the calm and collected voice of Dr. Ben Carson is rather refreshing. He also has a great first name! Dr. Carson gained notoriety for being the first neurosurgeon to successfully separate twins conjoined at the head. I, however, first heard of hi ...more
Nov 19, 2008 Elbert2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Elbert2008 by: my mother
This is the best book for you to read if you have a hard time taking risks. This book is sort of a Bibliography and it also teaches the reader about life. This book is great for young people because they have not yet exspereanced the hardships of life. Take The Risk by Ben Carlson is the best bibliography I have ever read, even though this is he only bibliography I have read.

This book was written to show people how to take and handle risks. Mr. Carlson, the author of the book has had a lot of
Aug 06, 2009 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy the stories of this famous pediatric neurosurgeon. I've been inspired and given lots to think about from reading his work. He appears to be a very dedicated Seventh Day Adventist and have a brilliant mind. He actually uses his mind to try and figure out answers to some of the world problems like improving education, helping everyone be able to afford medical care, taxes, parenting, etc.

In this book he shares some of the same stories from his earlier book "Gifted Hands" but he shar
Nov 16, 2015 Webajeb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't give many 5-star ratings, but this book deserves one. Dr. Carson's Best/Worst Case Analysis method is simple, yet so effective, and it can be used by individuals, organizations, or governments and SHOULD be. This book was published in 2008, long before he decided to run for president so, for a very personal, behind-the-scenes look at the person now campaigning for the privilege of running the most powerful country in the world: read this book. Read any of his books.
May 28, 2008 Clifton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: to anyone from high school to the retirement home
This is a powerful book that really discusses risk thoroughly, both on personal and social levels. Dr. Carson's basic theme is the B/WA, or Best/Worst Analysis, which is a tool he uses to determine whether or not a risk is worth taking. The B/WA tool asks four questions:

-What is the BEST thing that can happen if I DO this?
-What is the WORST thing that can happen if I DO this?
-What is the BEST thing that can happen if I DON'T do this?
-What is the WORST thing that can happen if I DON'T do this?

Take the Risk has to be one of my least favorite books by Dr. Ben Carson that I've read. I strongly disliked the bombardment of statistics and percentages presented in what seemed like the first half of the book. He describes his B/WA that he uses before taking any risky decision that he makes. In a world where we are taught to play it "safe" and to be hesitant when taking risks, he convinces readers that taking calculated risks can be a good thing.
Sally Beaudean
Jul 01, 2015 Sally Beaudean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Think! Use your God-given brain.

After having read this book, I have developed a deep respect for Dr. Ben Carson. It seems rare today to find a person with a brilliant mind, a strong Christian faith, and the ability to communicate in simple terms to less gifted people. However, in Take the Risk, Carson has managed to provide a seemingly simple method that anyone can use to analyze any situation by performing a risk assessment. Everyone should read this book!
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Benjamin Solomon "Ben" Carson, Sr., M.D. is an American neurosurgeon and the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States by President George W. Bush in 2008.
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