20 cows in a field, 15 are lying down. Does this necessarily mean we can expect a 75% chance or rain? Does it necessarily rain when the meteorologist on TV says it will? 20 cows in a field, 15 are lying down. How many apples are left in Jill’s basket?
Of course, the last question does not make sense at all, but neither do the first two. Still with me?
We turn to the weather report to decide what to wear. We turn to stock news to decide what to trade. Unconsciously, at times quite consciously, we base our next action on current trends. There is nothing wrong with this, of course. It makes sense to follow good taste and good advice, especially at a time in history when abundant and detailed information is at the tip of our fingers. But extra information also means extra details to add to the incessant inner discourse that often accompanies our most basic decisions.
We do not live in a culture that promotes spontaneity very much, outside of artistic expression that is. What if we considered the entirety of our story to be a giant work of art? In a shaky economy, you might boldly go with the gut feeling that awakens you in the morning with the absolute certainty that everything has lined up perfectly for you to finally place your home on the market or become a first-time home owner. Neither news headlines, nor expert surveys could sway your decision, and why should they?
This is precisely the point. Information, statistics and surveys provide the tools to make an informed decision; not the reasons to avoid action lest we become one of the predicted 75% who will not sell, not buy, not live, not succeed, not marry, not heal, not win and not experience a sunny day. What about the other 25%? If all stood still based on the news or statistics, the news and statistics would never change.
Challenges are inevitable. They shape every decision and provide incentives to become adaptable and creative. Have you ever heard of any strategy or invention that did not span from need or changing circumstances? Our environment shapes and transforms us; our response shapes and transforms it, on and on. Creativity is the tool we use to navigate the course. It can take many shapes, from economic and corporate strategies to sometimes apparently frivolous, spur-of-the-moment personal actions that may not stand a chance in front of a business committee, but surely have a power of their own.
Your vision drives your outcome; not statistics. Someone somewhere is defying gravity and Jill still has apples in her basket even though Jack took a few.