A young man contemplates one weekly decision—the subject of this email
December 12, 2022

You Knew It

Read time —
3 Minutes

You knew it.

You knew it was going to end in tears. At least that’s what you tell everyone. Always after it’s happened, you’re always there, ready to deliver your expertise.

“I knew it!”

Most people won’t stand up to you and say if you knew this was going to happen, why didn’t you stop us? We are too polite to call you out.

The truth is this. You didn’t know it.

You might have looked at the choices we faced and suggested some potential outcomes. You might have weighted each outcome and highlighted the one with the highest chance of occurring. You might have just given us your perspective.

Instead, you said nothing—until after the event.

Now, you try and tell us you knew it would happen. You criticise us for being foolish. For  making a bad decision , but who is really the fool?

You are.

 Fooled by your own bias . Fooled into believing you knew, when no one else did. Fooled into taking the hindsight available to everyone—and trying to convince them it isn’t hindsight but your ability to see the future.

As  Richard Feynman  said, “You must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.”

Consider yourself fooled.

This perspective isn’t limited to something you say aloud. It reverberates around your head as your internal monologue falls for the perceived wisdom hindsight bias offers us. We are often the ultimate fools without even realising it.

It leads us to this week’s  One Weekly Decision . I’ve said before we are the story we tell ourselves. Through this narrative, we are especially prone to hindsight bias. It is so easy to be wise after the event.

What would it take to be wise before the event?

Take away the opportunity to say you knew it, by improving the way you decide.

Decide slowly. Act quickly.

Don’t confuse them.

When you decide slowly, you ask questions.  You challenge assumptions and you seek the truth . You may even write about your decision before you decide. Then, you at least have a factual record that hindsight bias can’t tinker with.

The dangers of such a bias are clear. The risk should certainly stop you from saying, “I knew it.”

Thanks for reading.

The biggest compliment you can give me is replying to share your thoughts.


Founder,  The Resolve Blog  

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