Ii) Unable To Handle The Unexpected/Uncertain/Highly Improbable/Unforeseen Consequences, Ie Chaos Is Part Of Life

Introduction

"...human nature hasn't changed a bit. What has changed is the environment we live in..."

Seth Godin, 2007

Human beings are creatures of habit and prefer to stay in their zones of comfort. As a result, we are not good at handling the unexpected and uncertainties that lie outside our 'tunnel of possibilities. Usually the unexpected and unknown events are rare, have an extremely high impact and are low in predictability; although they appear retrospectively predictable. We need to adjust to handle them. Usually the problem lies not in the nature of the events but in the way we perceive them.

"...no matter how much research and planning you do, you will never perfectly predict how the market......will unfold..."

Jayne Herdlicks as quoted by Joanna Gray, 2015/2016

Furthermore,

"...you must never forget that every change ushers in unforeseen consequences. This applies as much to welcome changes as unwelcome ones......obviously, you cannot plan for the unexpected. All you can really do is never let your guard down..."

Richard Branson, 2008

Linked with a preference to stay in your zone of comfort is a fixed mindset (Catherine Fox, 2009). A fixed mindset is a simple framework for gaining self-esteem and judging others. It encourages stereotyping by using preliminary information to decide on a fixed view. Fortunately, our brain continues to change throughout our lives. This gives us a chance to update information for better decision-making. We need to encourage a culture where we learn from our mistakes. Furthermore, when we are willing to learn, we are more receptive to feedback or criticism. Thus success depends upon effort, persistence and being prepared to move out of your comfort zone rather than being complacent about innate talent.

In spite of our exponentially increasing knowledge base, the future is becoming less predictable. Associated with this is a lack of understanding of randomness, particularly large deviations, and a preference for anecdotal over empirical evidence. In practice, randomness is fundamentally incomplete information. A truly random system has unpredictable properties while a chaotic system has entirely predictable properties.

 

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