thoughts — The idea of champions

We tend to seek out these lessons by observing successes and failures and saying, “Do what she did, avoid what he did.” If we had a magic wand we would find out exactly what proportion of these outcomes were caused by actions that are repeatable, versus the role of random risk and luck that swayed those actions one way or the other. But we don’t have a magic wand. We have brains that prefer easy answers without much appetite for nuance. So identifying the traits we should emulate or avoid can be agonizingly hard.

Luck and risk are both the reality that every outcome in life is guided by forces other than individual effort. They are so similar that you can’t believe in one without equally respecting the other. If you give luck and risk their proper respect, you realize that when judging people’s financial success — both your own and others’ — it’s never as good or as bad as it seems.

Be careful who you praise and admire. Be careful who you look down upon and wish to avoid becoming. Focus less on specific individuals and case studies and more on broad patterns. You’ll get closer to actionable takeaways by looking for broad patterns of success and failure.”

“Nothing is as good or as bad as it seems.”

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