Told You So

The truth is hard to swallow, especially if it’s about you. This is something that needs experience, although you would hope to learn from others sooner than later. It might save you from repeating their mistakes. However, perhaps you are swayed by other media. It depends on the perspective you want to take. It’s still a choice, and we often layer judgement on top of things.

I do my best to self-reflect, and it was one of the most valuable lessons from my master’s program in coaching. It was in high performance too, a worthy distinction. We are all so used to doing things at a superficial level, and we want quick fixes and simple answers. We shy away from discomfort, procrastinate, and take the easy route. But that’s just being normal, isn’t it? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing that. What is wrong is when you resent others for trying, because someone else’s progress makes you feel worse about yourself. Now THAT is toxic.

How does one get into that kind of thinking? Totally out of my scope of practice. However, it’s sad because there are those who will still try to help. Those who are strong enough will display their strength in kindness. They will extend that proverbial olive branch to show them that things are not always what they seem, and there are better days ahead. However, some people pretend to do so and they prey on the weak. They sell you short-term solutions with long-term repercussions. The challenge becomes: how can you tell the difference?

Time. The easiest solution is time. Time will tell you whether you made the right or wrong decision. The problem with learning a lesson this way is that it is slow. If time is our most valuable resource, then be wary of using this as a go-to solution. An easier way to determine things is through action and by observing the actions of others. Try things, make requests, and see what happens. The more immediate the feedback you get, the better you can make sense of things. But what do you consider? Frequency or conditional responses? Frequentist or Bayesian?

Maybe it’s my background in sport, but I prefer conditional responses. Given some kind of action, what is their response? Then you can update each decision you make. For example, assuming that things have been going well for a long time, if we only looked at the frequency of things, you will probably suffer a greater amount before you realize that a change has occurred. However, if you considered things conditionally, you might get to pivot sooner than later. Perhaps you reach out to someone in confidence to wish them well, like a happy birthday or something, and they share your message with others. That’s probably enough information to tell you that there’s something wrong, and it’s not just an outlier.

However, to use that same logic, how do you look at people in a general sense? How does that shape your worldview? Conditionally, given that something negative happened to you, wouldn’t you be more suspicious of everyone now? That’s not a good mindset to take… you against the world. Perhaps looking at frequency is the favorable perspective now. Given all the people out there, I would hope that if you’re kind most of the time, it will be a net positive, or at worst, neutral experience. And only rarely does it turn out poorly. 

Looking back, I think it’s the case.

Time told me so.
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