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We tend to overestimate the chances of success because success stories are more likely to be reported, while failure stories do not.
"Behind every popular author you can find a hundred other writers whose books never sell."
How to elude the survivorship bias?
Swimmer's body illusion is whenever we confuse selection factors with results.
Some people are born with selection factors that makes them eligible for the success that they have now achieved. For example a swimmer might not have a perfect body because he swims, but because he was genetically equipped with the appropriate physique.
So before deciding to take on the plunge to emulate another person's actions or choices, hoping for the same end result, look in the mirror -- and be honest about what you see.
When you start seeing a pattern in something, always consider the possibility that the occurence is simply by chance.
We are genetically programmed with herd instinct -- to follow the crowd. However, it does not always mean that when the crowd does something, that action of choice is correct.
"If fifty million people sat something foolish, it is still foolish" - W. Somerset Maugham
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