Photo by Chase Kinney on Unsplash

Some things feel like they should be obvious.

Like “if at first you don’t succeed, try again”. When stick with stuff, we improve our odds of succeeding at them. But then again, we don’t think in odds, we think in certainties. If I do this, I’ll get that. And that’s where it all falls apart because life seems to operate on probabilities.

The thing about thinking in certainties is that it creates a sense of entitlement. The Newtonian universe promises us an equal and opposite reaction for every action. But those aren’t the only principles that govern the universe. How much effort? For how long? We’ll never really know. Growth/change is not a linear experience.

Another reason we’re uncomfortable with odds is that we’re drawn to the illusion of control. We think that we can do just about enough to hold the pieces, at least the ones we think matter, in our hands. So we often wrongly estimate just how much is required of us to see an outcome, get a result, create change, make an impact.

And that is why when things don’t “pan out” we get discouraged. We lose hope. We lose steam. Because our experience doesn’t align with the simple, linear model in our heads.

Persistence guarantees nothing. Neither does consistency. They only improve the odds.

Which straw breaks the camel’s back? The universe has a weird sense of humour.



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Babatunde Mumuni

Babatunde Mumuni

I think and write here about life as one continuous experience, not fragments stitched together. I believe that we should partake of this with our whole selves.