Burn It

Maybe you’ve heard the story before and maybe you haven’t. The greeks arrive at their destination, ready for battle. They’re outnumbered and very likely to lose. Then their commander burns their boats. He burns the only means they of retreating.

I’ve always found it interesting when I do this: I walk into some challenge and immediately my mind will rest on a very legitimate reason why, if I fail, it’s really OK. I say to myself, “If this entrepreneurial endeavor fails, it’s OK, starting a business is risky.”

This may very well be true. The probabilities behind success are factual. In any situation, there is always a probability of success and one of failure. BUT, what I will argue here is that though this may be true, humans do not work this way.

Humans, by acknowledging a probability of failure,  will increase that probability of failure.

Your mind seeks to always believe that failures are not your fault. This bias is well documented among behavioral economics. And think intrinsically for a moment, when something goes wrong in life, what is your immediate humanistic reaction? To seek an excuse, to seek an outside cause which you could not control.

To overcome this, when you enter something, you can imagine all the excuses for failure. Really try to think of all of them.  Accept that you have the power to overcome  these obstacles and that if you don’t, it is no one’s fault but your own. This idea that you are responsible for everything that happens, funnily enough, is only loosely true for most people. But whats interesting, is that the more you believe it, the more true it is.

What you are trying to do is give your mind no psychological ‘out’. You are trying to give it no reason to think failure is even possible. And this action, will actually increase the statistical probabilities of success.

This is an example of using the illogical pieces in the human mind to logically increase our chances of success.

Believing that you WILL succeed every time won’t make you succeed every time. But it will increase the chances of it.


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