The above is a quote from the CFO of Goldman Sachs concerning the the current economy. To me, this quote defines how we got to where we are. The financial models used to measure risk were 99% accurate. Unfortunately, the 1% happened and it happened in a big way. The 1% “Nothing” became a huge “Something”.
We all have routines. We get up at a certain time of day, do our morning chores in roughly the same order each time, have our routines in the office and later at night at home. Routines are good: they maximize efficiency and declutter our mind to allow us to focus on more important things. The challenge with routines is that they can also limit our perception of the possible. What we do becomes reality, not only a reality, but The Reality. The borders of the world become enclosed and after a while we stop thinking that there can be any other way to live. Then, something happens. An accident. An illness. A layoff. A newborn. A marriage. Something is thrown into the mix which changes everything, which requires us to redefine our routines and reality.
In a sense, perhaps our main focus should not be on the routines we do, not on the 99% (because, after all, routines are supposed to enable us to think about other things), but on the 1%. I would even argue that our greatest chance at success, or our largest threats, occur within this 1%. To me, success means aligning passions with actions: to be able to live your life by doing what you love to do every day. Passions are risky things and they exist at the borders of our perception. To focus on them means we need to be open to possibilities that aren’t part of our normal routine.
Take a few minutes this week thinking about the routines in your life. Think about where you currently focus. Then think about things that might occur which might change that routine. Some of them might be positive; some might be negative. Think about how you can take advantage of those changes.
Turn Nothing into Something. After all, that “Nothing” exists out there anyway; it’s just waiting for you to discover it.