Are you sure?
Opportunity meets a prepared mind or so they say. Its true because how else would you seize it when it comes your way. Almost all the training in the world is to educate us to pick great opportunities — irrespective of anything you do. But, that mindset makes many a failures, I opine. On the other hand, there’s another question that I think deserves even greater respect and that question is this.
Is this an opportunity or a temptation?
How do you judge if what’s on the table is an opportunity or a temptation?. How do you know if its a snake or a ladder? How do you know you can bank on your judgement or you are just too messed up to realise?
The mindset that one must be ready for the opportunity and must seize it aggressively when it presents itself also creates ‘confirmation bias’ making smart people make bad choices. We’ve all made choices we know we shouldn’t have. Of course we don’t regret that much but if you do look at what makes smart people do dumb things, its the ‘fear’ of losing out on an incredibly rare opportunity, that drives us insane.
I don’t know how you manage to test your own judgement against ‘bias’ in every serious situation but I think one principle when imbibed can prevent us from making the wrong choices. I’ll explain.
Its okay to miss good opportunities because if you are patient, they’ll come again. Maybe, not the same one but a good one nevertheless. What’s not okay though is to pick a wrong opportunity a.k.a ‘temptation’. Because one bad choice can undo the gains of ten good choices.
This is why Berkshire Hathway is what it is. This is why guys like Warren Buffet are real geniuses. Not because they are ‘intelligent’ but they are prudent enough to not bite temptations but are willing to eternally wait till an opportunity that’s perfectly suited for them appears. They grab it when they are most certain of their choices. They might not take too many shots but they would almost never take a bad one either. A bunch of good decisions with none bad, is an explosive recipe for glory.
In short, “Its okay to miss opportunities. It’s not, to pick a wrong one’. That will serve us well, I think.
What do you think?