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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