Dr. Fergus Simpson, a mathematician at the University of Barcelona's Institute of Cosmos Sciences, has just laid the smack-down on us all.

He's warning that there's a .2 percent chance of a global catastrophe occurring in the next year, with "game over" for Planet Earth being caused by everything from nuclear warheads to meteorites to "events of rarity" (think Kardashians running out of money).

Is he right in even his 1 in 500 chance calculation?

Who knows. But why not act as if he's vastly underestimated things?

Doing so may just create the best year you've ever had as opposed to a (literal) doomsday year.

Here's 9 worthwhile risks to take at work, starting tomorrow. The clock's ticking after all.

1. Say what's on your mind

It's time to stop holding your tongue and withholding your intellect.

Speaking your mind with consistency offers a sense of freedom and even stress relief (as long as you do it thoughtfully and tactfully).

It garners respect, spurs others to follow suit, and enables an environment of authenticity.

2. Be a bubble in the chaos

If you're working in chaos, you can complain about it, or put your neck out and build a bubble to protect as many as you can from the chaos.

I'm not talking about withdrawing from reality. I mean take the responsibility to be the boss you wish you had or to create the workplace environment you wish you were crafted for you.

Really step up for your people with a servant leader mindset, come hell or high water (or nuclear attack or climate catastrophe).

3. Coaching up a higher-up

This one's scary, I know. It applies to anyone who might be the "boss" of you -- whether that's a big client, a principal investor, a board member or an actual boss.

It starts by owning the relationship and making the effort to get to know and be sincerely interested in the person (as hard as it may be). See them as a person, just like you, with emotions, aspirations, and insecurities.

Accept their imperfections.

With an emotional foundation in place you can provide feedback on what's working/not working. Be respectful, direct, specific, and private as you give the feedback.

And as Harvard Business Review's Amy Gallo says, "Focus on your perspective and observations to help them improve--not what you would do if you were boss."

4. Forget your fear of failure

Research reveals that half of all adults admit that fear of failure "is the biggest roadblock to either not achieving their goals at all, or discouraging them from revisiting their goals."

Ask yourself what would you try if you knew you couldn't fail or remind yourself that failure doesn't happen to you, it happens for you.

5. Clarify the rules of risk taking - then do it

We often don't take risks because we don't understand the rules.

What constitutes a good risk? A bad one? What happens if we take a risk and fail? What information is needed before a risk can be taken?

Sit down with risk averse management and start the conversation on "what has to be true?"

6. Go ahead. Make peace with someone

A meteor could be screaming towards the earth, remember? Life's too short. Rare is the occasion when we regret making peace. Often is the occasion we regret leaving a relationship in pieces.

7. Forget your fear of criticism

Know that anything worth doing attracts admiration and criticism. Would you rather be judged or ignored?

Seek improvement, not approval.

And always focus on the intent of the criticism, not the delivery. Many times a useful nut is contained within a hard shell.

8. Use your superpowers to boldly make a unique contribution

Step out of your normal sphere and decide to make an imprint on something that matters to you.

And consider using your superpowers not just to do what you were born to do, but what you were born to do unto others.

9. Take a chance to move someone forward

Place a bet on someone. Go out of your way to invest in and support someone. Maybe you've experienced someone doing that for you.

Now's the time to take the chance and pay it forward.

With a "Why not now" mindset and these charges, you can make 2017 a categorical best-year-ever versus a cataclysm.

Published on: Nov 22, 2016
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