Apply Law of Probabilities

law of probability

 

I don’t believe in providence and fate, as a technologist I am used to reckoning with the formulae of probability. – Max Frisch

 

When in school we all studied the Law of probabilities. This law states that the possibility of a number to occur at any given time is 1/(The total count of the numbers). That means if the expected outcome of an action is positive, negative or neutral, the probability of outcome being positive is 1/3rd.

This law is crucially considered to decide the outcome of an event, action or process to know what are the chances of the outcome favoring the seeker. In other words if you presented an idea to your manager to increase productivity of the team and 2 of your colleagues also submitted ideas, the probability of your idea getting selected is 1/3rd unless the manager decides to select all 3. Similarly if you are in sales and you are out on the field to sell your product, not everyone’s going to buy it. If you talk to 10 people in a day, and for this product the ratio of prospect converting to customer is 1:10 then 1/10th is the probability.

The law of probability is useful in preparing action plan to meet the target. If the target is to get 5 customers each day and the conversion ratio is 1:10 then you ought to meet and talk to 50 people to have 5 customers. If you need some funding for your project or raise money for charity, you have to use this law to ensure that you reach your target. It is a myth that those who do well in sales are great  in presentation. They are able to close most of the prospects. Some people may have mastered the art of presentation and closing, however the secret of their high sale is they simply talk to more people.

If you want to succeed in exam, you have to solve sample papers at least 10 times to get better at the subject. Your probability of solving the test paper successfully is high.

How does law of probability help in reducing risk?

Risks are integral part of life. Risk becomes an issue if it is not anticipated and mitigated. The law of probability predicts the occurrence, the higher the probability of occurrence the greater is the focus given on the risk to mitigate.

Share prices roll on the stock market and their volatility is a cause of concern for many investors. A decision could mean a gain of millions or even billions of dollars or loss of it. Fortunes could turn tables with a single decision. This decision is taken based on the analytic recommendations and historical performance. The law of probabilities support the decision to buy or sell a scrip based on its probability to outperform its price considering number of variables that influence its price movement viz. index movement, govt. policy change, demand for the product in market, law of nature.

Thomas Edison failed a 1000 times before he invented the light bulb. Every failure he stated that he got closer to the solution, because the probability of success increased as he kept failing. Similarly if you are at a goal to achieve something in your life and aren’t being successful in achieving your goal, it only means that god wants you to try a couple of more times before you embrace success. That is the reason failure is considered to be stepping stone for success.

When the most successful surgeon is asked about how does he ensure that he succeeds operating a critical patient, he always mentions that his experience suggests 99% probability that he will be able to do well. The 1% probability of failure is there, however it is rare in occurrence.

To cut down the probability of failures one must:

Increase their numbers, increase number of rejects to get a Yes from the prospect.

Solve more number of papers to increase probability of answering the exam paper well.

Do more iterations of action to get closer to desired result.

If you want to find an address, what do you do? You ask people on the road for direction. You go a little ahead and then again you ask one more person. Why? To increase probability of being in right direction.

Cricket batsman or bowlers practice several times before they play real game. Practice reduces the probability of hitting a wrong shot or bowling a loose ball.

The astronauts are put in simulator for months before they actually go on mission. The simulated environment makes them prepared for the possible challenges they would face while in space.

Mastering the law of probability is a step closer to success. It gives a definite direction to take action to produce desired result. Apply law of probability in daily life.

To know what it would take to succeed at any goal ask yourself.

  • What is my specific goal. Is it to make 3 new customers every day or make 2 goals in a match.
  • What is the probability of succeeding? One in 10 for making new customers. Or Out of 10 ball kicks you hit the goal post twice.
  • What do you need to do to meet your goal? Talk to 30 new people every day or hit the ball towards goal post 10 times at the least.

Then prepare daily TO-DO list based on these numbers and execute them every day. This is a sure shot way to succeed in any challenging task that is bound up by uncertainties.

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How to Persevere?

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Perseverance is an art of continuing to pursue goal in the face of obstacles. It is a skill that very few master. Hence those few accomplish all their goals. They move from those 95% to 5% population who is largely successful in their career and business.

 

Whenever a person is working on his goals he is bound to face obstacles, a lot of rejections, doubts. When Col. Saunders realized at age of 60 that his Government pension could hardly take care of him, he had no option but to look for ways earn money to meet his daily needs. At that age it is like starting from 0. He knew great chicken recipes and wanted people to use his recipes to cook chicken, sell the chicken dish and give him royalty. He went from door to door selling his business. Every time he knocked and presented the opportunity, he got a big NO. He knocked over 900 doors before the first one said YES, then a few more No and a couple of Yes. People started cooking his recipes and selling the fried chicken. People started loving the taste of fried chicken and as people started making some money by selling the FRIED chicken, Col, Saunders started receiving more YES. His business started growing and soon he became one of the wealthiest people of his town. Now, KFC is having over 10 Billion $ net worth and over 10,000 retail outlets over the world. What would have happened if Col. Saunders would have given up after a couple of No’s.? He would have continued to live on meager pension and struggled making ends meet. Instead he persevered in the face of obstacles and kept going. Most people BREAKDOWN in a couple of NO’s and looks for easier means to make a living, but they can only make a living which will never create a real fortune for the rest of their life.

 

How does a person acquire this unique and highly rewarding quality of perseverance?

 

Well, though it’s not easy what you are going to read further, if you apply it in your daily life things will start to change if you seriously start using the principles. Your commitment will create that difference to take you to the next level.

Step1.

Accept your current state. That is you might have tried certain things and it didn’t work out. It’s okay to fail but not okay to give up. Accept the failure and consider it as a stepping stone towards your success. Think of it like this, every failure is taking you closer to your success. Why, because you learn from your failure and change. You change your direction or you make a new choice. Do not resist failure and do not resist your current state which is a state of trying to play safe.

Step2.

Once you are in harmony of your mental state, you know what you aren’t good at then take this step. In this step, you would need to look at your goal and break it down to baby steps, something you could do every day and move closer towards your goal. For e.g. if your goal is to open a new restaurant, write down tasks that you will need to do to get ready for starting a restaurant. Create a mind map. The mind map will give all the steps you need to take to start a restaurant. While you are taking actions use affirmations every day along with visualization as if you have already achieved your goal. Feel how it feels to accomplish your goal. This feeling will create that Bridge to crossover. You might get some inspired idea or a friend might come forward to help you or you may get a partner or a financer.

Step3.

Reorganize your efforts. It is like constructing a house. First, the place, the plan, the architect, the foundation, the plinth and then the rest of the building. Similarly, your actions have to be organized in sequence to build the restaurant. If you get stuck somewhere at a step ask for help. Consider your options. Avoid doing too many tasks at one time. It will get you exhausted plus it will stop the creative flow. You must feel good while executing your daily tasks.

Step4.

Use the NEXT principle. If you are selling a product and a prospect you approach says NO, go to next person. There are over 6 Billion people on this planet. If you are building a hotel and the architect gives a high priced quotation for his service, go to the next architect. In any city there are over 1000 actively operating architects. Give an add in newspaper. You will soon have choice to make. You could also drive the deal with quoting your limit price you can offer.

Step5.

Habituate. This is the single most powerful state. Habits are formed. Give up old habits of getting up late in the morning for instance. Start with small, get up 15 minutes early every day and then increment it to 1 hour slowly. Do this consistently for 21-30 days and you would have a new habit. Once you do this for 91 days you have mastered this habit, now your subconscious mind would do it automatically. You do not have to push yourself.

When I realized that I was drinking 4-5 cups of coffee/tea every single day which was causing headache, acidity and making me dependent of it to be creative, I formed a new habit. I started drinking green tea and cut it down to twice a day. Replacing old habit with healthier one and something you would enjoy is the key. As I did this over 21 days, now I do not get the craving for having tea/coffee when I have to start doing something creative. I happened to visit a café coffee day as my daughter wanted to have cold coffee. It is very tempting to have coffee in CCD and plus you could sit in CCD for hours. I did not feel the push internally even after smelling the aroma of coffee to have it and it wasn’t a feeling of compromising at all.

So from my experience I can suggest that it works. Just do it consistently.

 

Step6.

Focus. There will be days when you would have other priorities. Focus on your goals. Keep some time aside, usually the best time would be morning if you are morning person when your creative flow is highest. Focus on your goal will go a long way to persevere.

Step7.

Accomplish. Once you do all 6 steps you will surely close in on your goal, no matter how BIG it is. Once you accomplish it (till then just shut up and do your work, do not gossip) your goal, you have mastered the art of Perseverance,

One more factor you will need to consider is to STOP being a Perfectionist. Perfection comes with focusing each day on improvements. It only means don’t give up until you make it what it is supposed to be. If you are writing a Book and you wanted to make it the best seller, you won’t have the perfect script every time. There will be days when you would really run Dry on ideas and words. What do you do then? Do you stop writing or give up? No, just pen down whatever ideas you get and then review it later. During the review you are going to catch imperfections and correct it.

Now, you can set yourself up for HIGHER Goals to accomplish. GOOD LUCK and BE HAPPY.