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January 7th, 2020
Many people do not succeed because they don’t bother to show up. The logic is that the success rate is low, so why even try?
Sometimes, the contours of the answer are embedded in the shape of the question. And this one gives away the trick.
See what happens when we invert the question: If few people are bothering to try, is it any surprise that the success rate is so low?
This is one instance where correlation and causation are probably pretty tight. Our success with anything depends on chance and our ability to persistently try, again and again.
Notice it’s not either or. It’s not either, we get lucky with chance, or we just bang our heads against the task until it works. Both chance and persistence are fundamental here.
The reason is because each time we try, we do something a little different. We internalize failure, ideally learning from it, and our strategy changes a little as a result of integrating this new information. Our next attempt is a new one, and we can never be sure how it will pan out. Nor can we be exactly sure what we decide to do for that next attempt. Our next idea is not something we plan. It is, like your next thought, a bit random. This is chance at play in an intimate dance with our experience of being a thinking, acting human being. While we can plan what we’ll do in the future, we cannot actually know what we’ll do until we get there. It’s a bit like rolling the dice, but it’s a die with millions of options that are dependent on who we are, how we think, how we regulate emotions, what we know, and what we’ve done.
If there’s something we want to succeed at, it’s a matter of rolling that die again and again. The odds that you hit upon a strategy and an action that starts working goes up the more times you try.
Overwhelm fate with an insufferable persistence and eventually people will say that your success was fate.