KFE - Inverse Paranoia

May 8, 2020

Just over a decade ago, best selling author Malcolm Gladwell coined the “10,000-hour rule” in his book” Outliers”.  In essence, the idea was that practicing a skill for around 10,000 hours was required to excel in a field (i.e. to be world class).

Gladwell references examples such as Bill Gates, Paul McCartney etc and the term is used anecdotally by coaches and leaders for how long it takes to achieve excellence.

What I find interesting about this RULE is that there is little reference to the path of how these people got there and most importantly the failures.  We don’t think about what was behind the scenes.  We are in awe of their achievements.

Did you know that Cy Young, the famous pitcher who holds the most wins of all time, also has the most losses of all time?  The best hitters in baseball have average scores of 300, meaning they made the wrong call 70% of the time.  Early in his career, best selling writer Michael Lewis would submit dozens of articles to magazines and his “hit ratio” was very low.  There are countless examples such as this.

Maybe failing A LOT has value!

When you look at a professional photographer’s amazing work, do you think about how many pictures they took? As you can imagine, the ratio of photos taken to photos that become successful is very high.

If increasing your loss rate allows your win rate to NATURALLY go up, then it seems like failing numerously is an important aspect of success!

We hear the term resilience so often in this current environment.  We equate it to terms such as perseverance and grit however they do not truly symbolize resilience.  Resilience presumes you have fallen or failed. It is defined as the “act of rebounding” therefore failure is implied.

What does this mean to you?

Every time you make a mistake, think of it as a learning experience necessary for your success in the future.  Consider the countless failures all the people you admire certainly had.

I recently made a mistake on a business deal.  Despite my natural tendency toward disappointment and frustration, I am viewing it from a different lens.  It’s just another “strikeout” leading me to my path of record wins!

Become an "inverse paranoid," a person who is convinced that there is a vast conspiracy in the world to make you successful.

Have a great weekend, Karl

“Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
― Nelson Mandela

Karl Choltus

Deep thinking Canadian sharing thoughts created in the shower.