The Survivor Bias

The best advice one can get is from a person who underwent challenges relevant and similar to what we are experiencing today. This is something many believed to be true. This is the reason why people only choose to be with people who are seemingly successful in their fields to serve as both an inspiration and mentor for them to achieve similar level of success. However, this may not be true and accurate at all times. In a logical perspective, the advices we get from these so-called successful people are representative of survivor bias. This is the focus of this blogpost.

Survivor bias is simply drawing inaccurate conclusions based from the experiences of those who successfully achieved something. It is a bias because the actual level of difficulty of the process of success is not singly gauged based on those few who were successful, but also together with those many who were not able to do so. As a result of this bias, people may perceive everything seems easy, even though it is not in reality. This type of optimism is simply based on inaccuracy and vague belief.

Will is not everything

Having the courage to take risks is not tantamount to being successful. It may work for some, but not for everyone. It may not even be the first step. No one could say that will would secure success. There is not guarantee that the more determined a person, the more successful one could be. In the first place, success is subjective and can not be realistically compared. Perhaps, one should have determination but to what extent is independent to the nature and value of one's success.

Hardwork does not guarantee success

This might seem bad news to anyone but the chance of success is very little in reality. Success is something to be looked upon to by everyone to serve as an inspiration. The standard for success id quite for high to be considered remarkable. Because of this, majority are doomed to fail, not because they really failed but because the achievement is perceivef not enough. Moreover, even the standard is low, many would still considered their actions as a failure even though they exerted so much effort for it.  This makes success sweet and inspiring when it is attained. However, one should be grounded in reality that hardwork will not mean success. Failure is more probable such that others could avoid it by learning from those who failed themselves.

Better learn from failures

Learning from those who failed is better than those who triumphed. The accuracy of description of the journey, process and its accompanying challenges is more from those who failed than those who survived. Ofcourse, there might be pessimistic view or bias with those who failed, but the collective similar description of those failed can not be ignored. The high frequency of failure makes accuracy of description more credible than taking advice from few individuals who succeeded. That would be enough to give warning for others not to repeat the same mistakes. It is therefore difficult to trust one who succeeded given success is an event that is unusual and infrequent in the first place.

This is not a pessimistic point-of-view in life. This blogpost would simply encourage use of common sense and realism. Things are not as it would be in most cases like those who succeed. Their success was both a product of personal circumstances, relative luck and their unique environment. To say, one could achieve the same feat is like saying recreating the same situation and factors is possible. Everyone of us are unique, and also everything that affects us. Thus, one could just learn from one another, accurately as possible. This is better done by avoiding logical biases, making right decisions thereafter, and trying one's unguaranteed shot to success.


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