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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.
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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.
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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.
A good poker player chooses a table where he has a better chance to win. A group of casual players is better than a table of professional players.
In your career, you need to pick the ...
A poker player learns many skills initially about different combinations of cards, and how to play a basic game. He keeps on improving by further calculating the other aspects of the game, which were not understood before.
Similarly, one needs to identify the basic skills for the job and then grow with experience, improving your dealings with people and situations.
A successful poker player constantly plays a high standard, and does not make impulsive decisions. A long-term discipline in a career path builds one's wealth, supported by one’s past success.
A single wrong decision can demolish one’s reputation and credibility.
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.
Even if the decision had a good outcome, we still need to objectively analyse the quality of the decision-making underneath.
Tilting means realizing that your emotions are not separate from the logic of your decision making - for example, the despair that comes from bad luck, or the overconfidence that comes from a win.
You can learn to cope better by regularly checking in with yourself to see what you are feeling and how you react. Once you have identified those feelings, then try to analyse how they're influencing your judgment.