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How to think under pressure

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https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200622-how-to-think-under-pressure

bbc.com

How to think under pressure
How can you best play the hand you’re dealt in life? One woman’s quest to become a champion gambler may provide a few clues.

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Incomplete information and over-estimation

Incomplete information and over-estimation
  • Much of what you need to know in life is hidden from you. You need to make decisions, but is still the victim of chance or uncertainty.
  • We tend to over-est...

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Thinking probabilistically to avoid overestimating our abilities

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.

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Learn to deal with tilting

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 th...

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The value of accepting the unknown

A poor understanding of good or bad luck can derail the decision making of bankers, judges, and athletes. Being aware of probability will prevent you from reading too much into random event...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Gambler’s Fallacy

Gambler’s Fallacy

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’...

The Biggest Bluff

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.

Separate decision quality from results

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 ...

Luck and Incomplete Information

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.

Thinking in Bets

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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Pick The Right Table

Pick The Right Table

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 ...

Keep Improving

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.

Stay Disciplined

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.

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Hack the 10,000 hour rule

This rule was developed by Anders Ericsson and popularized by Malcolm Gladwell and states that we need  10,000 hours of deliberate practice to succeed at anything.

This may create f...

Plus, Minus, Equal

  • Plus: Find mentors, real (maybe someone from your work) or virtual (from books).  Learn from someone with more experience than you.
  • Minus: Explain what you are learning while you are learning it. Teach someone with less experience than you.
  • Equal: Find people who love what you love and spend as much time talking about this shared area as you can.

Micro-Skills

Every skill worth learning has dozens of micro-skills.

List the micro-skills. Figure out what you are good at, what you are bad at, and how you can learn to be better at each.

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Winning A Lottery

Winning A Lottery

Human beings are not wired to grasp the concept of probability. A chance of winning a lottery, sometimes 1 in 175 million, is not something that bothers us.

The Lottery ti...

The Steady Appeal of The Lottery

The steady appeal of the lottery is due to various psychological tricks by the marketers: suspension of logic and reason and the dreams that it sells.

Using the variable rewards concept of psychology, the marketers ensure that people keep buying their tickets for years, by introducing smaller wins with much better odds. This helped lottery buyers experience the thrill of a win.

Playing the Lottery for Entertainment

The odds to win are so small that winning does not even feature in our decision matrix of buying a ticket. The game of lottery isn’t played on logic, or for investment, but for entertainment.

For as little as two dollars, a person dreams of getting a chance to win thousands of dollars, and that dream is worth the price of the ticket. The bigger the jackpot is, the more the dreams are fed.

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Do a weekly review to reflect on your progress

Do a weekly review to reflect on your progress

Try to identify things you avoided due to fear of failure and situations where your perfectionism wasn’t worth it or moments where you did well despite being uncertain.

You...

Get an outside perspective on your perfectionist tendencies

Talk honestly and openly to someone about your tendencies and how you’re working on getting better.

Ask them to tell you when you are being too fussy about something so you can think about it.

Interrupting the cycle of rumination

  • Take note of when you’re ruminating and what triggers it until you can see your patterns and find ways to counteract them.
  • Don't trust your first reaction when ruminating. Most of the time, it colors negatively your read of the situation.
  • Seek a diversion to break the rumination cycle.
  • Think positively: remembering your successes and times you tried new things helps you to not be avoidant of tasks you can’t do perfectly.

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Systematic approach

Most people jump straight from finding a problem to attempting to solve it.

Having a systematic approach to how you deal with problems, as opposed to just going by gut and feelings, ca...

Study the problem first

Detectives and investigators use the process. They ask both obvious and unthinkable questions.

Get close and collect information about how the problem is manifesting.  Understand where the problem does and doesn’t happen, when the problem started, and how often the problem occurs to generate critical insight for the problem-solving effort.

Question for great answers

  • Don’t look for solutions immediately; Keep redefining the problem until you arrive at the root cause.
  • Don’t try to guess the solution; try to understand how the obstacles, or challenges manifest first.
  • Gather data to analyze all potential root causes.
  • Consider all options, regardless of how irrelevant they currently appear.
  • Find a way to connect the dots. Make better analogies. One good analogy is worth three hours of discussion.

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Moral Luck

We judge ourselves and others morally for things that didn't come out as intended, were unforeseen, or were influenced by factors beyond one's control. 

The judgment we should rece...

Feeling Morally Responsible

Some people do their parenting in difficult circumstances, and nothing that is done by them as parents is fully under their control.

The good and bad traits that parents possess can find their way in the child, with them having no say as to what the child will eventually become or do.

The Inner Paradox

Due to so many factors at play, parents are relying on good luck, pulling off a gamble on the child that is being raised. They don't have much leverage on the outcome, the net result of the actions of their offspring.

There is an inner paradox, a duality that exists in the minds of parents, which can make them accept and also reject the responsibility they have towards their kids' actions.

Temporal discounting

Temporal discounting

We tend to pay attention to the present at the expense of the future. Our present self will eat an extra piece of cake, or skip a training session, or procrastinate and leave o...

Your future self in decision-making situations

We all like to feel good about ourselves in the moment, even if it interferes with our long-term goals.

But instead of letting our present self make the decision, we need to bring our future self into the decision-making process to help us think about the future consequences.

Using the power of regret

Emotions can be used in two ways: To understand the way we feel, and to use it proactively to influence our future behaviour.

Regret happens after an event. We can't change the past, but we can harness regret to improve our future by visualising how our future self will feel about the decision we make now. If you think that your future self will feel fine about the decision, then it is a perfectly valid conclusion.

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Working Hard

"Work Hard" is one of the oldest pieces of advice for success. According to the author Malcolm Gladwell, it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to attain mastery.

...

40 Hours A Week

Truly working 40 hours in a week is rare because just completing your work hours doesn't amount to real work. 40 hours of great work output can come from 60 or more hours of 'regular' work.

Work can also take many different forms, and is not confined to the working that is 'visible'.

Work Becomes Play

Discover something you love to do, that you’re good at doing, and that you can get compensated for.

When work becomes play, it doesn't stress us out and doesn't seem to exhaust us. Work that is fun for us, becomes great work. Joyful, meaningful work is one of the keys to being successful.

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