Deconstructing Fears, Avoiding the Big Surprise, & More
Today at a Glance
- Question: Deconstructing fear.
- Quote: Change your mind.
- Framework: Avoid being the turkey.
- Tweet: Bend it like Beckham.
- Article: Marginalian resolutions.
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Question you need to ask:
What am I not doing right now because of fear?
“We suffer more in imagination than in reality.” — Seneca
Fear plays dangerous games with our minds. It distorts our ability to think clearly and rationally about a decision.
When we feel fear, we:
- Overstate the negative consequences of our decisions or actions.
- Completely ignore the potential positive consequences and the costs of inaction.
The human tendency is to (1) feel fear and (2) run away from it.
Deconstruct the fear that is holding you back:
- What is the potential downside of action (or inaction)?
- What is the potential upside of action?
As Tim Ferriss so aptly covers with his fear-setting framework, by getting closer to our fears, we are able to fight back against them and unlock new growth in our lives.
Quote I posted on my wall:
"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." - George Bernard Shaw
Changing your mind on the basis of new information is growth.
Embrace it as a "software update" to your brain.
Framework to avoid the bad surprise:
The Parable of the Thanksgiving Turkey
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain (maybe)
The Parable of the Thanksgiving Turkey comes from The Black Swan, the 2007 best selling non-fiction book by Nassim Taleb about unforseen events.
The story is simple:
A turkey is born on a farm.
Each and every day, the turkey wakes up to a friendly farmer, who feeds the turkey, cleans the coop, and scares off any potential predators.
For 1,000 straight days, the turkey becomes more and more entrenched in its belief that the farmer is good and will always take care of him.
Then on the 1,001st day, which happens to be Thanksgiving, the farmer comes in and kills the turkey to eat it for dinner.
Quoting from the book (emphasis mine):
"Consider that [the turkey's] feeling of safety reached its maximum when the risk was at the highest...But the problem is even more general than that...Something has worked in the past, until — well, it unexpectedly no longer does, and what we have learned from the past turns out to be at best irrelevant or false, at worst viciously misleading."
The lesson I glean from this story: The "truths" we have grown certain of may not always be true. When we have reached the point of maximum comfort with our reality, we may find ourselves surprised, just like the Thanksgiving Turkey.
A question we should all constantly ask ourselves:
What do I know for sure that just ain't so?
Tweet I found satisfying:
This is how you bend it like Beckham...
Behold the power of a creatively negotiated contract. The headline contract value went down, but by taking a % of all team revenues, the total dollar figure went way, way up.
Article I read five times:
I was recently referred to The Marginalian by a subscriber and have been going down the rabbit hole on the archives.
Exceptional, thoughtful stuff!