STEP 32 - The Slot machine Probability and Chasing the Mirage
Have you ever thought about your philosophies on life, people, politics and ever religion?
Now, have you thought about if having any of those philosophies have hurt you in the past?
For example, have you lost great friendships or were you not able to make the right decisions simply because of a conviction you had?
He also discusses how important it is to take time to analyze and determine an answer based on probability rather than emotions and convictions.
Nietzche put it very well when he said "convictions are a greater enemy of the truth than lies".
That's because convictions can destroy relationships and even bring nations into war. Take Adolf Hitler as an example, he was certainly a man filled with convictions. His impact on the world was definitely a negative one due to his strong beliefs.
So, it is basically certain to say that the ability to pick the correct option will also depend on the ability to NOT rely on convictions to make decisions.
Here's what Tai recommends:
"Try living a week with less conviction and more investigation. What the world needs now is less opinions and a heck of a lot more observation".
But what do you do once you let go of your convictions? What do you replace it with?
Well, you replace with the philosophy that you will never know everything and you will just have to accept some uncertainty in life.
Truth is you will also have to accept that in the game of life, rules don't always prevail. That means if you see someone succeeding and you copy the exact steps they took to get there, it doesn't necessarily mean you will also succeed as they did.
There are so many variables in life, so many things that goes on behind the scene that we simply are unaware of which brings about the next point in this step; the slot machine theory.
The slot machine theory consists of the idea of having two slot machines; one takes about 10 pulls and 10 quarters before you have a win and the second slot machine takes 20 pulls and 20 quarters.
Although the first machine takes less pulls and less quarters to win, there are times that the second machine which requires more quarters and pulls will win before the first machine. Now, when people see the second machine winning, they may start to believe the second machine is the right one to play their quarters, since it just had a win.
However, most people also fail to analyze how many pulls and quarters it took to actually get a win, and this is the behind the scenes we discussed earlier in the article, the things we are unaware of.
To further this thought, think about when people meet someone who has smoked and drank their entire life, didn't take care if their health but somehow managed to live to their 80's or 90's and then they start to believe that the drinking and smoking life style is the best way to live life when in reality those circumstances rarely happen.
Associations as such should be completely avoided. Always strive to choose the path that wins 1 out of 10 instead of the one that wins 1 out of 20, even though the ladder may also win sometimes.
Do not chase the mirage, the path that only looks great but has no great possibility of succeeding. Do not rely on your emotions and feelings, rather use analysis, observation and experience when making a decision.
As Tai mentions in this step 32 of the 67 steps, "Coming out of the cave is risky, you are more exposed, but you'll be able to see the light".
Now, also expect that sometimes you can make the right decision and things end up not going exactly as you wanted. For example, you pick slot machine number one (the 1 out of 10) because someone had just won. So you put in 7 quarters and take 7 pulls and nothings happens. Meanwhile your friend on slot 1 out of 20 puts in 5 quarters and takes 5 pulls and win.
But remember, patience is a virtue and a skill that can be worked on, give the world time to catch up to your accomplishments. In this case, if you are patient enough to sit there and stick to the right option, all you have to do is put in 3 more quarters and take 3 more pulls for a win.
To put it in better words, if you can stick with the right plan and not give up even when you plateau, you will eventually reap the rewards. And that's basically what separates winners from losers, winners stick with the right plan even when it seems as if the wrong path is winning, when losers give up on the plan the minute things become a little challenging.
Moral of this step is, get out of your comfort zone of thinking so you can think clearly as things are in reality rather than based on a strong belief. With a more accurate sense of reality in place and a better ability to make decisions, use patience as an ally to wait for the seeds that you have planted to grow and then finally reap the fruits of your work.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Questions worth pondering :
1 - What is one thing you have been able to stick with during the past 18 months without plateauing?
2 - What is something that you gave up too quickly on ?
3 - What is the clear path that you know you should take but have not taken? What will you do differently to get yourself on that path?
4 - What is an activity or choice that you have made (or continue to make) based on emotions and feelings with low probabilities of success?
Also read: Secrets of six-figure women
Want to stay motivated and inspired? Follow @quoteslunatics on Instagram for quotes, motivational and inspirational posts and great ideas to help you accomplish your goals and dreams.