Look at various statistical odds in life. Lately, since December I’ve been playing the Powerball lottery. It’s fun to dream about winning and I actually enjoy going down to my local store and picking up the tickets. Maybe I’ll never win the “Lottery”, but someone will. One of my life habits is to place my loose change in a jar, then I can reach in and buy a ticket weekly… It’s a simple easy practice that makes me feel great, well… hopeful.
I won’t digress into how the game is played but the odds of winning are pretty small, one in millions. Along the way, I glanced at the various odds and it gave me pause to wonder about other odds in life. Somewhere out there, I noted that your odds of being in an auto accident were one in 645. Your odds of being struck by lightning were one in 13,500. Oh well… Started thinking about what could happen to me in 2018. There is a good article in the Washington Post, “The ways you’re most likely to die, at every age”
Are we safer today in 2018?
The answer to your safety really depends on many factors. Perhaps more to the point is a recent article in the New York Times, published at Christmas, “How to Be Happier, Safer, Healthier and Smarter in 2018”
A couple of years ago, I was invited to attend a seminar which was provided for all the managers of my company. The core idea was to encourage the managers to take more risks. On the way to that saga, the seminar was led by a consultant who, aside from being a risk expert, also was an avid skydiver. The one thing I remember from the seminar is that the consultant/leader said that he had only had two close calls with death out of two thousand jumps. So, that is really just a fraction of a percent chance at death, but then I started considering; “Who is making him take that risk?”. The odds seem poorer when one engages in the needless risky behavior.
This year is a good time to improve your powers of risk assessment. For all the reasons, you probably already know, there’s a lot going on in our world and it’s good practice to be a great estimator of what’s going to happen next and how will it impact my life. 🙂
I’m going to work on creating and evangelizing more “Checklists” in 2018. I used to do this a lot and it is a terrific habit. The Construx Software Consultancy offers many checklists that are useful for software development. Some years ago, (i.e. 1993), the leader of Construx, named Steve McConnel wrote a leading bible for Software Developers entitled “Code Complete”. I don’t mean to digress into software engineering, but more to the point, there’s a need to develop a good leader and manager habit for developing checklists. To that end, my continued work in defining collaboration, “Who What With” is pretty exciting to me for 2018.