Optimism And The Law Of Probability

Optimism And The Law Of Probability

We all need to be optimistic at one point in time or the other in our lives. Matter of fact, you need optimism to keep you going in whatever you do. While several people have different definitions of optimism, I’d rather be careful to simply say it is the ability to decide not to remain in bad situations. Most times, we are always quick to dismiss pessimists as well tagging them as killers of freaks or perhaps enemies of progress and if you’re a stark optimist, you might as well want to label them as fake friends.

There lies in a truth and a reality in their own positions as well, and I will analyse it in this piece. The mind of the optimist and pessimist runs in different directions, and taking a microscopic look at the different stances, you’d see a connection, and it will also help you scale faster. While I’m so aware nobody or probably a few persons might have analysed something similar to what I’m writing, I have not read any so far which means this is from just mere observations and critical thinking and the moment you see the big picture in the analysis, it can help you accelerate your progress in life or whatever you do.

I believe Nigeria will be a better country and that Africa will be a better continent. This is my optimistic side speaking. At the same time, I do not believe in Nigeria, neither do I believe in the future of Africa being a great continent. It is a 50/50 and before you begin to tell at why I decided to let you know my opinion, I will explain everything clearly in order for you to see why we either need to give up or keep pushing.

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I will give a scenario and this is the basis of my point;

Nigeria has about 180 million people and out of these 180 million people, only 11 players are selected to play for the Super Eagles, national football team. Let’s say out of this 180 million citizens, 10 million are qualified to stand a chance to play for the Super Eagles and out of the ten million, only eleven will be picked. This means that you stand an eleven out of ten million chances of playing for the super eagles.

Let’s also say that we have another country whose citizens are just five million and the number of people that stand a chance for their national team is one million. It shows that anyone competing in such a country stands an eleven out of a million people to be qualified to play for the national team. You might want to ask if my analysis makes sense or is needed in the first place.

Yes, it does. This analysis is the boundary of optimism and under ideal condition, once it exceeds such boundary, it is rather safe to be pessimistic in order to keep moving forward. My analogy is quite simple. It simply means that in order for you to be chosen to play for our country’s football team, you need to be as qualified in 11/10 million which is different from the other person at 11/ 1 million.

Most times, we tend to compare countries together, compare people together, compare events together and even compare wishes together without paying attention to the law of probability. We hardly take measurements in whatever we do. I had to raise this so that you will henceforth begin to pay attention to numbers, to metrics. What will this do to you?

  1. It will increase your drive: When people compare players together, they basically done wrong neglecting all these factors. Same thing with companies. If you really want to play for the national team, you need to understand you have  11/ 10 million chance unlike 11/ 1 million to match up to being qualified on the same level to enter the national team.

If it requires the person in the country with fewer population 2 hours of training daily to be able to have the strength to match up to be among the eleven, you should understand that you need more than two hours under ideal conditions because you have more people on the line. It is a game of odds.

  1. It makes you more optimistic: How weird this is. This is the point if you haven’t gotten me all the while. The moment you understand the odds, you become more optimistic that you can succeed because you begin to get more certain. Now, this doesn’t just apply in football, it applies in every area. Matter of fact, I have used this principle in establishing my companion which keeps me more optimistic and motivated understanding the odds and seeking how I will daily advance to keep myself within the perimeters of success.

I however understand that this is not a one hundred percent principle towards success in whatever endeavor and this is because there’s a dark side called uncertainty or I can say there’s something called luck. In my previous post about the Billionaires Bible, I analyzed how one can know he or she is on a journey to becoming a billionaire. What people were quick to attack me on was on the fact that it wasn’t only depend on the certain part and I quite agree.

Sometimes, you may not have trained up to 1/ 11 million times that a coach just shows interest in you and picks you to play for the national team. Yes, I actually believe in luck. I don’t believe that everyone who succeeds did it all through hard work. There was a moment of luck, of uncertainty. However, like I said, most times, it still depends on the certain part and that means that in order for you to have been spotted by a coach, you must have been a good player so far in many of the cases. In order for your company to have raised that amount in funding, it must have had traction. The moment of luck lies in the fact that even though you had traction, the investor might still have said no but said yes. That’s luck!! That’s uncertainty!!

What should this piece do to you?

It should help you pay attention to metrics first, that is odds before you pay attention to chances. That’s to be on the safer side. This will not only keep you in check, it will help you measure each of your love and help you take the right quantity of effort you need to achieve your goal.

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