Recently I’ve been reading a library book called The Personal MBA, and it’s a synthesis of all of these business books that the author has read. This book is so tightly packed with info that I had to buy my own copy. It’s THAT GOOD.

mazarine treyz, the personal MBA

The Personal MBA ROCKS!

Here’s an example of one small thing that I’ve learned:

Do you tend to kick yourself for things that you did 2 years ago?

That is hindsight bias. Hindsight bias means a tendency to kick yourself for things you “should have known”

Should you have known that grant proposal wasn’t going to work? No. You couldn’t have known.

Should you have known that job wasn’t going to work out? No. You couldn’t have known it at the time.

Every decision you ever make will be based on incomplete information. We have to use interpretation to fill in the blanks.

Since you’re not omniscient, you’ll always have more information when you evaluate the results of your actions than you had when you actually made the decision.

As a result, it’s very easy to feel stupid if things don’t turn out the way you expected.

It’s important to realize that these feelings are irrational-your decisions were based on the best information you had at the time, and there’s nothing you can do now to change them.

What you decided then is now outside of your locus of control.

It’s important to understand and separate what you can control (or strongly influence) from what you can’t. Trying to control things that aren’t actually under your control is a self-flagellation feedback loop that NEVER ENDS.

No matter how hard you worked on that proposal, whether or not you get the grant is outside of your locus of control. Focusing your efforts helps you stay sane-turning results you don’t directly control into goals is something that will make you crazy.

Other things you can’t control, as much as you would like to:

  • How many members your nonprofit has
  • How many donors your nonprofit has
  • How many bequests you get
  • How many people show up to your big gala
  • How many sponsors you get
  • How your boss treats you

You can focus and learn and plan and do your best, but at the end of the day, you have to let it go.

Worrying about things that you can’t influence or control is a waste of time and energy.

Some people stop paying attention to the news, because 99% of it is outside of their locus of control. Keep your attention on what you’re doing to build a life you want, and you can get there.