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To avoid the trap of overestimating our own skill, we need to start thinking probabilistically. That means estimating the odds and adapting your decision-making accordingly.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
The odds are always fifty-fifty. But most of us anticipate better odds, or better luck, after a bad streak, as if now we are due for good luck.
This ‘Gambler’s Fallacy’ assumes that probability as a whole has memory, and if the coin is flipped ten times and shows ‘heads’ in all ten, the odds are huge for it showing ‘tails’ in the 11th spin.
Maria Konnikova, in her soon to be published book The Biggest Bluff, tells us that Poker is a real game, closer to life as opposed to the modern games which try to ‘game’ our brains’ and exploit its weaknesses.
Poker pushes us out of our comfort zones and illusions and puts us where life is, unpredictable, and always with fifty-fifty odds.
People have a natural tendency to conflate the quality of a decision with the quality of its outcome. They're not the same thing.
You can make a smart, rational choice but still get poor results. That doesn't mean you should have made a different choice; it simply means that other factors (such as luck) influenced the results.
You cannot control outcomes; you can only control your actions.
Why don't smart decisions always lead to good results? Because we don't have complete control over our lives — and we don't have all of the information.
You can opt not to drink on New Year's Eve, for instance, but still get blindsided by somebody who did to drink and drive. You made a quality decision, but happenstance hit you upside the head anyhow.
Becoming comfortable with uncertainty and not knowing is a vital step to becoming a better decision-maker.
What makes a decision great is not that it has a great outcome. A great decision is the result of a good process, and that process must include an attempt to accurately represent our own state of knowledge.
A few major decisions determine a good portion of how our lives, careers, and relationships turn out. The outcomes of these decision points will reverberate for years.
Even small decisions can matter as they accumulate over the years.
We live in a society that demands specialization. Being the best means being an expert in something. A byproduct of this niche focus is that it narrows the ways we think we can apply our knowledge without being called a fraud.
We should apply all the knowledge at our disposal to the problems and challenges we face every day.