You Can't Avoid Entropy

Darren Matthews
Last Updated:
A young man contemplates decision growth—the subject of this email
Table of Contents
“Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth” ― Mike Tyson

In life, we have dreams, so we make plans to turn those dreams into reality.

Our decisions embody those plans.

The job we do. The home we live in. The partner we choose.

On paper, it all looks so simple.

Entropy makes it far from simple. Entropy delivers us disorder, randomness, and uncertainty. We try to prepare for the unexpected. We plan with the worst-case scenario in mind, but even when we’re set and ready for what might come, it still causes chaos.

We all think we are ready.

But entropy is very good at punching you in the face. The shock, the momentary pain, along with a surge of adrenalin electrifying your biases as they scream at you to react only adds to the chaos of what’s happened.

Of course, our biases breed comfort for us.

The turkey illusion isn’t just for turkeys. We live every day with a growing confidence tomorrow will bring us the same pleasures and experiences. The surprise when a random or deliberate act breaks a trend of continuous behaviour is a brutal reality check.

Entropy is always there.

I write this, to try and apply some logic to the shock of losing our cat, Nacho. Unseen by us, the day before he turned two, he tried to cross the road in front of our house and got clipped by a car.

A day later, we found him in a quiet corner of a field near us. He hadn’t survived his injuries and had passed away where he sheltered.

For nearly two years we lived with him. We had loved him and treasured his affection. We had seen him go out each night, into our garden and a different field away from the road.

For two years, our relationship with Nacho grew stronger. Our confidence he would be with us for years became more entrenched than ever. He was part of our plan for a happy life.

Then, an act of entropy brought the Turkey illusion into view.

All the logic on why it happened doesn’t make coping with it any easier.

It really has felt like we’ve been punched in the face.

I’m reminded of the fragility of life. I’m reminded of how we are all locally fighting entropy. I’m also reminded of how easy it is to lose that fight.

I can’t change what’s happened, but I can use it as a lesson to ensure I embody what Steve Jobs talked about. His quote about living each like it were you last is one the turkey illusion can’t overcome.

“If you live each day as if it were your last, someday you'll be right. Every morning I looked in the mirror and asked myself: If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I do today? ”―Steve Jobs

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