What is the risk of doing nothing?
We don’t ask this question often enough. Of course, there is a reason for this, and it comes back to our assumptions.
We assume doing nothing risks nothing.
Oh boy, what a huge mistake this is to make. It is one we make repeatedly, as we live out our comfortable lives. Entropy ensures nothing stays the same, so either we change it, or others will force it upon us.
Consider the paint you patiently applied to the wall outside. Once it’s dry it won’t stay the same. The sun will warm it and dry it out, bleaching the colour and fading it over time. Then, the rain will fall, finding cracks for it to seep into. Once winter arrives the rainwater will freeze, splitting the dry crusty paint. …
You’re faced with a big decision, one which changes everything, and you don’t know what to do. Stuck, you become consumed with indecision. Rather than risk making the wrong choice, it’s easier to stay as you are, living in the status quo.
Hindsight will tell you you’ve made the wrong call. Hindsight will show you what you’ve missed by doing nothing. There is no denying it, we could all do with a crystal ball to help us see what hindsight will tell us in the future.
But we all have one unique power: our imaginations.
Imagine yourself six months from now; now you can see an unfamiliar perspective. It might be summer, or winter — who knows. Imagine you opted to make the decision and step into a new future. The outcome you dreamt of; it’s here with happiness in abundance. …
It is a brute of a question isn’t it; what do I know to be true?
Ray Dalio mentions the question in his book Principles. The question plays a key part in the steps he takes to make decisions. In the complex world of investing, having a rigorous process for making decisions is essential.
It separates the successful from the not so successful.
The question can — and should — play an equally critical role in our decision-making. Any decision, big or small needs a logical approach. Alas, we don’t tend to make decisions logically. Outcomes, no matter how outlandish blind us. …
I bet you tell yourself you think differently, don’t you? You’re the crazy one, the round peg in the square hole, the rule breaker. The one who can change the world.
I bet you gorge yourself on the iconic apple advert. You know, the one with Richard Branson, Muhammad Ali, Jim Henderson, and John Lennon and others. Yes, you could be a crazy one.
Okay, you’re not going to change the world. But you can change things at work and in your life. You tell yourself you see the world differently, with your energy and enthusiasm for life. Somehow, though, you can’t break free. The monotony of living every day — of doing the same things — takes over. …
This reality blinds us.
It creates the impression we don’t have any control. Outcomes are random, influenced by fate, lady luck, and whatever else is in the air. Often, we negate what we can control as well, making choices without consideration. When outcomes go against us, we blame others.
We absolve ourselves of responsibility.
Understanding the paradox of a decision and its outcome is the biggest difference between those who succeed in life — and those who don’t. …
Unbelievably, right now you’re thinking in patterns. Some you might be aware of, but most of them, you can’t see or even describe them.
Take the lost time of daydreaming. Only a few minutes ago my train of thought was gone from me. Vertical blinds decorate the window in my office; the type that twists to block the glare of the sun or hide the invasion of the night. I’m irked, although the blinds are all lined up, hanging against the cloud drifting behind them, their angle against the glass is wrong. The imperfection grates me, my awareness awakening as I stand and reach for the pole. …
Loyalty — Yep — the one word we think we understand, but we don’t. We delight in telling our bosses we are loyal to them, to the company we work for, but we’re not. Would you still be ‘loyal’ if your bank showed your salary payment was half what it normally is? Would you still put yourself through the grind of starting early and finishing late if the money dried up?
No, you wouldn’t.
Ask Mike Lowery what loyalty means, and you’ll find an altogether different answer. Mike is a police detective in Miami, working with his partner Marcus Burnett. …
Reflect and renew is a great upgrade to the date act of a New Year’s Resolution. A resolution is a false promise of a new beginning — often crushed within a few days of the year commencing. Why? Because the act itself is flawed. A bold commitment to lose weight by eating less, or to stop consuming coffee by the gallon is whimsical and ill-thought-out.
But every year, with the changing of a digit we surrender ourselves to the aspiration of a new year resolution or two. The version in our heads of rarely matches reality. …
Dam…it’s nearly Christmas and amongst the many traditions of the year, I’ll be doing my own annual review. Yep, for the last three years, I’ve dismissed new year’s resolutions in favour of a more reflective assessment of the year gone by. I try to objectively reflect on the past year, compare where I am to where I wanted to be, and seize upon any lessons I can take to make me a better person in the year ahead.
The annual review builds upon my goal to become a better person. So, I look to answer the following questions…
Assumptions are the beliefs we carry in our heads — drawn from experiences of events or thoughts in our past. Each assumption comes loaded with risk because the present isn’t the past.
We assume what happened before will happen again.
Sometimes chance favours our assumption, and we get away with it. Where we come unstuck is, we don’t see it as ‘getting away with it’, we see it as good judgement, good luck, or simply great skill on our side.
Our confidence rises as we begin to believe we know better, as we puff our chests out and flex our shoulders. Of course, self-belief compounds the situation as we do not see the confirmation bias blinding our systems of judgement. …