When a mistake isn’t

Every single time I get caught in the rain, I curse myself for not bringing an umbrella. But do I ever learn my lesson? Fortunately, never.

Sometimes things that look like mistakes, aren’t. Instead, they’re the inevitable negative outcomes of a high variance strategy (one that you might have never known you had).

Talk to me on a rainy day, as I stand there soaking wet, and I’ll tell you that not carrying an umbrella was a mistake.

But talk to me now, as I look back in hindsight, and I’ll tell you the truth: it wasn’t. I hate carrying an umbrella, I’ve always found it an incredible nuisance. So long ago, somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I must have made a decision to stop. Because although I lose on the few days when it rains, every other day when it doesn’t, and I don’t have to bring that infernal umbrella, I win.

We all have high variance strategies like this that are working just fine. Don’t let things that look like mistakes, like missing the train, buying the wrong pair of jeans, or getting burned by a colleague you trusted, fool you into thinking otherwise. Maybe you don’t need to change your strategy, maybe you just need to realize that you have one.

  • http://twitter.com/mekalav mekalav

    Nice post :-)

  • http://sheaconsulting.biz/ Brian Shea

    Love this post. Every strategy has its downsides along with its upsides. The more you accept the downsides the more you can enjoy the benefits of the upside. good stuff!

  • http://www.cono.rs/ Conor

    I hate carrying umbrellas.

    I am going bald. Maybe my aversion to carrying umbrellas has something to do with this. Now, when it rains, I have little hair to get wet… so am evolutionary even more adapted for a world where I don’t ever carry an umbrella!!!!

    You have opened my eyes ;-)

  • http://www.cono.rs/ Conor

    I hate carrying umbrellas.

    I am going bald. Maybe my aversion to carrying umbrellas has something to do with this. Now, when it rains, I have little hair to get wet… so am evolutionary even more adapted for a world where I don’t ever carry an umbrella!!!!

    You have opened my eyes ;-)