As the distinctive barriers between cultures, religion, careers, ethnicities go progressively blur due to our world becoming more globalised and interconnected; the tendency to tilt towards extremism (choosing one or the other) becomes more luring. We are influenced by a constant influx of widely varied ideologies and beliefs which can either positively or negatively shape the outcomes of our lives- for the better or worse.
I write to bring to light the dangers of boolean based decision making and argue the need to find the right balance i.e. the sweet spot. I think I’m sounding somewhat philosophical here. Pardon me, don’t lose me just yet.
Engineers know every structure possesses a resonant frequency – i.e. a frequency wherein a structure experiences severe displacement / movement in response to an exciting force close to or equal its intrinsic natural frequency. I believe every sphere of our lives possesses a sweet spot wherein if slight adjustments are made, can have a significant impact in our lives and move us on to the next level of experiencing successful outcomes. In this light, I understand that most questions in life are neither right nor wrong but require logical reasoning to appreciate the value of incremental iteration towards finding YOUR sweet spot.
For example, take the argument:
Should I get university education or not?
On the one hand, one would argue: it’s useless, why bother? You’ll learn all you need in the field; university is such a waste of time! Moreover, you’re not guaranteed a job. Another argument would say ‘Go to university, secure your future, get a degree and pursue your dreams as an educated professional’.
None of this is right or wrong, because athletes who have never been to the four walls of a university but pursued their passion for sports, earn millions monthly and are socially celebrated as ‘successful’; whilst on the other hand, a beautiful example of quirky Ray Dalio attended Harvard Business School and founded a disruptive asset management company in his 20s’. Their successes both support each option of the preceding argument.
Honestly, regarding going to university or not, there’s no real yes or no answer to this. You must find YOUR own sweet spot. Review what believable people are saying regarding the topic, but the ultimate decision lies ON you to choose. Follow your heart (not selfishly) and you’re likely to be on the right path.
For those in university, is there a need to strive for a Distinction grade? After all, there’s no assurance of securing a job with one, neither does it guarantee you’ll be successful in life anyway?
- Decision 1: Put in minimum effort in your studies, graduate with a poor grade, after all it doesn’t guarantee you a job.
- Decision 2: Do your best, graduate with a distinction, feel entitled to succeeding in life and do the minimum to achieve success because you were the best in the class. Hence, a colossal failure due to a misjudged mentality of entitlement.
- Decision 3: Do your best, graduate with a good grade (or poor grade, so far you can affirm you gave it your very best!), apply for jobs like you graduated with the worst grade ever, and try to consistently develop and achieve like your life depended on it.
Personally, I tilt towards decision 3.
Readers are leaders, the number of books you read determines your success in life.
- Decision 1: Read 100 books a year, gain a lot of knowledge, apply the concepts verbatim without reflection and thereby failing, therefore becoming frustrated and concluding that books are totally useless.
- Decision 2: Since reading books do not guarantee your success, why bother? –therefore languishes in ignorance.
- Decision 3: Reads as many books as he/she can, critiques the ideologies and concepts, logically selects and applies aligning principles, iterates rapidly, fails forward, adjusts accordingly and finds the sweet spot in various areas of his/her life.
I could keep going on and on, but I realised that the subtle secret to success is a culmination of our everyday decisions (Decision 3), and this realisation of trying to find my sweet spot between luring extremities helps me achieve, remain level headed and eager to be better.
Have you found yours?