Dead patient. Successful move at chess.

Note: The current article has been written more than 7 years ago!

  • The operation worked but the patient died.
  • The move at chess was a wrong one, but the match was won due to it. (more on this)

These are two different situations, in which you can take the right decision, and fail, or you can take the wrong decision, and win.

Which is solution better? The answer to this is splitting time into A – the moment the action / decision is made / taken (the time of the move, the time of the operation) – and B – the analysis afterwards (analysis of the operation, or of the game of chess).

  • A – At the point of taking the decision, it’s always good to take the best possible decision, given the data. What most people lack at this point is the ability to see that 999 operations on a person can do well, but you should still look at the 1,000th one as you looked at the 1st one – be curious, explore new paths. At chess – sure, if you just know you will play wrongly, don’t do the move. Don’t lose your queen just to make a new move. But if there is a chance that doing the 1,000th operation differently or the same game of chess with a new twist, and this may result in a positive outcome, consider this. Sure, do think that 999 out 999 prior experiences were positive, but do leave some room to think about doing things differently this time.
  • B – After the thing happened, at first you will need to stop going into the obvious “the patient died, your procedure is certainly wrong” or “you won the game, this is a good strategy for the future”. What you need to do is factor the wins / loses. So, think that now you don’t have a perfect line of successes, now you also have an error. Factor this into future decisions.


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