Posted in Life & Happiness

Preempting The Preemption

A key tool that evolution gave human beings to survive is the ability to plan for the future. We are able to analyse the information available to us to simulate and predict the future. This allows us to make better choices as we can delay gratification, find optimal solutions and work towards a common goal with others.

However, our ability to predict the future is far from perfect. We are still slaves to our base desires and numerous cognitive biases. We are often either too cynical, thinking of every reason something may fail, or too optimistic, thinking of the best-case scenario. Sometimes our emotions cloud our judgement, while sometimes we rely too much on cold logic, ignoring what our hearts really want.

Another problem is that sometimes we overanalyse things. We may become insecure that a certain problem will cause more issues and heartbreak down the line. We let our fears and anxieties create a chain reaction leading to the worst possible scenario. Instead of trying to work through the problem, we decide to not even try. 

We start to preempt the preemption.

But the thing about the future is that it is inherently unpredictable. There are too many variables and random probabilities involved that no matter how hard we try, we cannot perfectly predict what will happen. What is certain is that if you do not make an effort and pursue something, it will certainly not happen.

Consider the last time you made a major decision, such as deciding to change jobs, or to date someone, or to move to a different city. Did things work out exactly as you planned? Now think back to the times when you gave up on something before even starting because you didn’t think it would work out. Do you think things might have gone differently had you not given up?

It is perfectly reasonable to make a conscious choice not to act or pursue something. But every now and then, even if you feel that things won’t end perfectly, take the leap and make a daring choice. Whether the outcome is good or bad, you gave the future a chance to prove itself. 

Life is like a lottery, and you can’t win anything without buying a ticket.

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