What about when you have two equally dismal choices, where either alternative has its own unsavory consequences? What do you do? Does it matter? Will either outcome lead you to the same path regardless? That maybe only the scenery might be different along the way? I don't know, but it does seem that you have to do that which scares you. Umm, I'm not advising jumping in front of a bus.
Remember when Buddha, before he became THE Buddha, checked his wife and family in his search for Enlightenment? Okay, you may not remember, but it happened. So he was gone for like six or seven years and then he returned and his wife, Yasodhara, was pissed b/c he had left her w/ an infant and no one wants to get stuck with diaper duty. They smell. Anyway the point is, the trip paid off. As it had been predicted, he turned out to be the Buddha. But, had he stayed living the life of the prince he would have been just a king. Which, okay, is still pretty cool, but I mean -- a Buddha??? Holy shit there's no comparison.
Risk-taking is important b/c it reveals what's possible. We can think we've got it pretty good -- hey look I'm gonna be a king! -- but if we don't take risks then our potential is limited by the choices we see in front of us, which we mistake as being THE ONLY choices. Vision can be unconsciously narrow and so you stretch your own boundaries by being willing to give up everything. That which is truly lasting cannot be affected by circumstances anyway. I suspect it's in this nothingness, the space between the discernible and familiar, where miracles occur.