Written Jan 12th, 2017 — Published Jan 121th, 2017
People like to imagine they can accurately predict how things will turn out.
Spoiler: They can’t.
This tendency leads to a few upsetting common practices, several of which you’ve probably been the victim of recently:
- Meetings about meetings.
- Heated discussions about hypothetical future scenarios which no one really knows anything about.
- Projects getting killed before they start based on imaginary worries.
- People choosing not to go out because of the *possibility* of traffic (as opposed to actual traffic).
Many books have been written about this, from every angle and field of expertise. Lean Startup. The Road Less Traveled. The Games People Play. Social Animal.
Too few people can reliably differentiate between predicting and worrying and actually deciding based on data in a conversational setting, and I think that might be one of the most important critical thinking skills you can develop.
Learning how to tell the difference between decision making and worrying out loud will change you discussions, productivity, and ability to enact changes in the world around you.