Over the years, I’ve met a lot of people. At some point, we talk about our achievements, goals and reflect on how we got there and how we want to get there.
I find that most people have a really hard time accurately measuring their progress or success. Most often than not, many people find themselves getting feedback by self validating their own ideas. The problem with this is that it “stunts” our growth and gives us an illusion of success.
A lot of people find themselves stuck and blame an external source, rather than questioning their validation methods.
I’ll give you a very simple example. Lets say that I love playing coin flips. I find that I’ve won more often when I choose heads over tails. I’ve now created a strategy to always choose heads when I’m in a coin flip with someone.
The problem with that logic is that it’s based on one variable, one clue. There are other things to consider. Probability is one of them. The chances of the coin landing on heads is 1/2 chance or 50%. That means that it’s just as likely to land on tails, as it will heads.
So how come I’ve been more successful with heads? Well, that’s because probabilities are correlated with time. I can flip a coin 10 times and have it land on heads 10 times. Lets say now that I flip it 100 times. It might end up landing on heads 36 times and on tails 64 times. Make that 1000 flips and you’ll see we’re going to get closer and closer the about half heads and half tails.
Understanding the principle of probability gives you another tool to use in order to accurately measure and test your own hypothesis’ of a successful strategy.
Let’s use a more realistic example. Let’s say that I am a taxi driver and I found that going to the airports early morning is giving me a lot of success so I’m going to just stick with that plan because I’m making most of my business then. How do I know that? At some point, I’ve driven a customer to the airport and found a lot of people seeking taxi cabs when I got there.
Is that enough information to conclude the best practices? Well, we need to question how we figured out the best practices and think if that’s the best way to make a conclusion.