There is no better way to fool yourself, then to get your pants on fire in the middle of the most important task of your life.
Why such a silly example? Because that is exactly how life treats us when we are overconfident, and we choose to block any information that can make us change our way of thinking and our opinion.
If you believe yourself to be the smartest person on earth, you might be. But if you don’t change your mindset and start learning new things, you will be taken over and made redundant pretty soon.
If you think you are the best investor, the investment that mattered the most would go wrong, especially when you fail to protect yourself or your clients from the risks.
If you keep on succeeding, don’t think that it will always be like this. The world is not that nice to everyone, be ready to be punched in the face and screwed over at every corner. That way, when it really does go wrong, you will be prepared.
Don’t be pessimistic
What I am saying is not to be a pessimist and not to be a person that is always doubting everything and never starts anything new. No.
Negativity is awful, and no one should only think about the negative things. We are what we think. There is no doubt in that. But you have to make sure that you are being real with yourself.
Take all the risk you want, be as adventures as you want, but keep in mind the negatives and the potential drawbacks of every action.
You might know that -- every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Newton’s third law of motion tells us that every time you succeed, someone else fails. Sometimes the failure part will come to you as well, and it is normal. Be ready to lose and be ready to lose hard. Protecting yourself from hard fails makes sure that you still can go on if you fail.
That way, when you truly win, you will be the most successful person alive.
Hedging is smart
Don’t be afraid to consider your option with every opportunity that comes.
Again, be adventures, but think, what are you giving up instead? The world is not free. If you are gaining, someone else must be profiting or losing because of it.
As an example of all of this is how Warby Parker’s started and defined a monopolistic industry.
They didn’t stake all of their money and life into the business; they all had a backup plan as well as ready opportunities waiting for them if it didn’t succeed. They were hedging the risk of running a company as all the stakes were against them.
That didn’t mean that they chose not to try. The tried and succeeded, but if they failed, they would have had a life that was worth living and not a jumbled mess of previous self-confidence that got them nowhere.
The biggest take away is that you have to be humble in the way you see opportunities, yourself and the world around you. You have to do focused and work that truly matters for you. This way, you will make sure that whatever challenge comes you will be ready and prepared for it.
I hope that you ask yourself a question if you are being overoptimistic with yourself. We tend to hide our problems and vulnerabilities very deep down. What you need to do is force yourself to find them and examine them out in the open.
The process of self-improvement needs to start now.
Start now. Get perfect later.