The Manual

Will you follow
Instructions
To a T

Or

Infuse them with
Your own
Creativity

(Metis)

Bayes

‘Choices’ is the second recent instance in which I bump into Bayes: Probability and Likelihood when considering choices and making decision

(The first time it was about Corona Rapid Antigen Testing and how to explain a false positive result. That was easy.)

What still trips me up is the fact that I’m not sure if I understand the theorem in full. Here is my condensed version which I apply to the decision making process as described by Annie Duke:

Probability: How likely is it that an event will occur at all?

Likeliness / Likelihood: How probable is it that the event will occur and be relevant to me and my hypotheses? How probable is it that I overlooked something relevant (to me and my hypotheses)? In a similar situation in the past, what was the outcome? What is the risk?

In thinking – as opposed to calculating – we infer probability through likeliness/likelihood. There is a need to (de)/fin(e)d the right WEPs, I guess.

Choices: Perfect vs. Optimal

We tend to look for perfect outcomes. Those don’t exist. So, how about trying to look for optimal outcomes in your decision making process? –
You’re not going to be stuck with your decision, there is always a way to tweak, or even, pivot (unless you do that too often – that’s considered ‘flaky’).

What’s important here is ‘weighting’ – not in the strictly mathematical (but still, binary) sense – in your value cloud. (And Erin did stress that – The Higher Goal.)

Which optimal outcome are you going to be able to live with ‘better’ than the above-optimal outcome that does not reflect the things you value?

At first glance, it might appear to be a ‘no-brainer’. -> “Hey, above-optimal, near-perfect outcome that I did not even ask for? Bring it to me!”

Then there is time. Over time, how satisfied with the above-optimal outcome that does not reflect your values, are you going to be? Remorse, regret? Or, just partying on?

My take is this: If the outcome of a decision is not aligned with your values, you are going to suffer in the long run. Which will make all the blessings of an initially-perceived ‘above-optimal’ become naught.

Erin did talk about that in her presentation and I think it is an utterly important point, so I’m going to repeat it: The Higher Goal.

(As Seth Godin said (not sure I quote him precisely): “When the rice & beans are covered, everything else is a narrative.”)

The Good Shepherd

I’ve been doing some soul searching —- Meaning, I was not searching my soul, but searching for soul. Which was prompted by a comment from a member of my book club who asked, after my presentation, if there would be a follow-up. So, for some future presentation, I found a book – The Heart Aroused – that explores the soul in the corporate world; and here is a quote from that book:

No language matches good poetry in its precision about the human drama.

David Whyte

Yet, I love what I perceive to be poetry’s ambiguity. So, I let my soul speak poetry to my business, a pharmacy, but I guess it could be any business. –
It’s called:

The Good Shepherd

I long for the green pastures
and so do my sheep
I have to gather them
and bring them
along, with my staff
and also,
the wolf

While this isn’t grand poetry, it might serve as a departure point for the prose of a purpose / mission / vision statement.

Where did this come from?

The mind is at rest
The soul takes a breath

Where I’m at –

The Orca, the Bull, and the Crow

The Orca is languidly floating
The Bull is at rest

What thunder
what turmoil
what stirring
what splash
will be next?

The crow watches
from her branch
fully alert

Accidents

Accidents – In recent weeks there were four incidents involving my dog. All of them happened because I was distracted. Three resulted in an injury. Of those, two necessitated a minor surgery, complete with rounds of antibiotics. Thankfully, all three injuries required only short periods of recovery.

Unfortunate things happen when we get distracted. Pulled muscles, unexpected dog attacks, leash entanglements. (Also, strained backs from not paying attention while lifting a heavy item. Fender benders and worse.) – It all happens in a split second.

Sometimes we get lucky, suffering just near accidents. Still, we should consider those to be warning signals, too – that something is wrong and we are in need of some behavior modification.

True mindfulness is not only focusing fully on ‘that one thing’, but at the same time being aware of the environment we’re in. When on the move we can’t slip up – be it in dog walks or business.

How do YOU simultaneously maintain focus AND awareness?

Who Is It For?

Who is it for? … Somewhat unrelated, but: I did a whole written piece on that subject in a very verbose manner. For this space, I’ll stick w/ an image (Artist: Susanne Schober) and the short of the long:

A dilapidated facade lining a much-frequented passageway … something had to happen and it did: The Urban Art Festival was announced and the brainstorming started.

Four projects came from that phase and were finalized last year. As the festival got COVID-postponed it is finally happening now.

This is the first festival piece, two more will follow.

(Last year’s pieces can be found here – text in German).

The Ball

Kairos

Don’t chase after the ball
Let it come to you

Be alert
Be ready

or not

Catch it

(Kairos)

A Friend

I was visited
by a dear and long-time friend

For fifteen years we haven’t met
And still, it felt like
just the other day

We vowed it won’t take long to meet again

For

the reason we connected
was his mother’s recent passing


With all our parents gone
it falls on us

to reinforce the bonds

learn how we’ve grown
what we accomplished
where we failed

going forward
make some plans
carry them through

be there

fill the time with fun and laughter
share the load
support each other

until we pass
like the ones
before us