The Weekly Resolve 39 – Is This Your Narrative?

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Hi Decision-makers,

Kimi Raikkonen (the F1 driver) once said: “It’s always the same question about bad luck. It’s nothing I can change.”

The words reveal much about Kimi’s mindset. When he references the question about bad luck, he resolves it with one defining statement. It’s nothing I can change. He knows there is nothing he can do about bad luck – you’ll notice it isn’t even his bad luck. It’s the randomness of life and he knows we are all exposed to it.

How we cope with it becomes clear with the story we tell ourselves.

We all have a narrative – that is, the words we use define us.

‘Can you believe what just happened…’? When things don’t go our way, we look for excuses, we fail to grasp that life is a series of random events. We become the victim.

It is more than we can do to accept that we make decisions with incomplete information, not understanding that luck will always play a part.

Regardless of whether you’re a pessimist or an optimist, you’re making choices based on your perception of how luck treats you.

This negative and positive mindset leads us to focus on the things we can’t control. We fool ourselves into believing we are either lucky or unlucky.

Our decisions begin to suffer as we focus less on what we can control. The influence of previous luck appears. Now, information that offers no relevance to our decision begins to spoil the choice we face. Confirmation bias leaps into action, nudging us to accept assumptions built on previous beliefs. The clear-thinking detective has long gone.

The story we tell ourselves isn’t a good one. It’s full of false information and vibes which reduce the quality of our decision.

It’s why the story we tell ourselves matters.

Do you love and hate Fridays and Mondays in equal measure?

Yay goes the cry on Friday, it’s almost the weekend. The relief in our minds that work for the week has nearly finished is another narrative. The story of why we work – along with what we do for work is clearly not a good one in this instance.

The ugh, and shrug on Sunday that’s it’s almost Monday offers the same negative vibe.

Our thoughts about Friday’s and Mondays becomes a story we tell ourselves.

What these thoughts show is a red flag to objectivity. If you were objective about your work, your home life – and what makes you happy surely, you’d stop. You would seek change. An objective you wouldn’t put yourself in that place in the first place. All that’s happened is the narrative you tell yourself is wrong.

And as Kimi shows, this is something you can control.


New for You

Think like a Detective: In last weeks email I talked about how thinking like a detective can help you make better decisions. Maria Konnikova used this methodology to improve her decisions when playing poker. Read the full article here.


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Make great decisions!

Darren Matthews

Founder, The Resolve Blog

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