An Einstein thought.
“Reality is an illusion; albeit a persistent one.”
If reality is an illusion there is a reason for it. The reason is that we overvalue things that have happened and most especially have happened to us. When we think about it, we realize that what we see as real, depends more on the filters we use to examine it than on what is actually there.
As a test think about things that could have happened to you but have not. Are they the less real for not having happened?
Son Phil has told me this before.
“What we know about physics tells us more about how physicists think than it tells us about the universe.”
The question is then, can we understand anything we cannot describe. We are limited by our tools of observation.
What we notice creates our filters and the more confined the things we expose ourselves to, the more narrow our ability to understand reality.
Widening the perception.
It depends on what part of reality you care about.
If you want to understand people better, meet people not like yourself. Travel. Join organizations with a different perspective. Read material you don’t agree with. Learn to argue to seek what is right instead of who is right.
If you want to know about business, study history and challenge some of the conventional wisdom. Same thing with the stock market. Not everything accepted as gospel truth actually works. Be a skeptic. Dig deeper. Test unconventional ideas.
What about luck?
Good luck can happen in two ways.
You can have an exceptional outcome despite not enough fundamental knowledge, or you can have an exceptional result because someone else did not see the opportunity.
Google was offered for less than a million dollars. Microsoft for thirty million. Salesforce for seventy five million. None taken. Good luck is sometimes the deal you did not make.
You have to play
Like widening your filters, good luck is situational. If you don’t play the game you can’t be lucky.
You can’t lose either and that is possibly the greater loss. You learn more when you are wrong and that helps make better decisions in future.
You need not be right all the time, just organized on the win big, lose small model. Wisdom is threefold.
- Wise enough to know you can’t know everything, but you can know more. Widen your horizons.
- Wise enough to know that avoiding mistakes is the greater error. Make more. Widen your horizons
- When you make a mistake, assess the meaning and then quit. Education is not inexpensive. Widen your horizons.
It is very difficult to make good decisions with an inadequate grasp of reality. Know that your reality is incomplete and quite likely no one shares it. Work at it a little.
Don Shaughnessy arranges life insurance for people who understand the value of a life insured estate. He can be reached at The Protectors Group, a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency in Peterborough, Ontario.
In previous careers, he has been a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business.
Please be in touch if I can help you. firstname.lastname@example.org 866-285-7772