Expected Outcomes, Handling Failure
Despite calculated actions and contingency plans it’s amazing how often the outcome of our efforts differs from how we imagine it. We’re by no means consistent, no matter what lengths we go to to produce consistent results.
That can be de-motivating for some, but on further exploration you realize it’s not a big deal. In fact, if you stop to think about the number of contingencies involved in a given effort, it’s amazing that we can produce any semblance of consistency.
Imagine a basketball player taking a shot during an NBA game. Even a super star like Kobe Bryant will miss his shot 56% of the time. Typically a 56% failing rate is nothing to get very excited about. If you fail more than half the times you try something that’s anything but consistent.
What goes into those odds? How was Kobe being guarded, was he wide open, was he doing a layup or a 3 pointer, was he fresh off the bench, was he tired, did he have any nagging injuries, were his hands too sweaty, did he have a clear view of the hoop, was he squared up, did he get enough sleep the night before, did he eat his wheaties… you get my point.
If you think about it there are always going to be lots contingencies that affect the consistency of the outcomes. The only think worth sweating about is the consistency of your efforts. I believe that if you can manage a consistent focused effort in the direction you want to go, eventually, you’ll get the outcome you’re looking for.
Thoreau said it best:
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.