Thursday, April 23, 2015

Unbearable truths

I found myself explaining to my daughter that people will go a long way to explain why there is value in the products they have purchased, especialy relative to products they have not aquired.

The hard reality is that to invest oneself is to blind oneself.  What happens is that because personal investments set us up to lose under certain scenarios, we will naturally think of how to avoid these scenarios. The thing is, having worked out how to minize loss, we have usually built a whole reasoning on what can happen, and what will not happen. The last thing that we want then is to be proven wrong. It is this avoidance to be proven wrong (among others) that blocks us from revisiting certain scenarios. Indirectly, what happens is that we set up a subconscious barrier as an effort not to be proven wrong.

This is very much black swan territory: events that do not happen often and surprize us in a bad way. But it is actually more than that, it is about being careful not to accept just any solution. Some solutions will kill you! You take them, you explain to yourself why you took them, and by doing so you have locked yourself into a thinking pattern that may harm you.

We cannot reject all because of their futur risks. We must accept new solutions when we can. Still, there are two ways to avoid disasters. First, listen to your gut feeling: if something feels wrong, then it might be wrong, and then better avoid it as a solution. Secondly, listen to your gut feeling: if something feels odd or out of place, then explain it. If you cannot, then one of your solutions may well be wrong and needs revisiting.

One last remark, work hard! It is the hard work that creats those "gut feelings"!

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