Yes, we all do it. We predetermine what the outcome should be. Then, in a variety of ways, we follow that path to make it come true.
At the end, we get to shout, “See I told you so!”
In the ‘Outliers’ Malcolm Gladwell explains how young hockey players, furthest, in birth date, away from the cutoff date of selection for teams, do the best. Of course they will. They’re the oldest, the biggest, the best practiced. Then they get chosen for better teams. As a result, they get more hockey time to practice and the best coaches to help them. People in the hockey business then get to say, “I told you these choices would be great.” The book calls this process “a reign of error. For the prophet will cite the actual course of events as proof that he was right from the very beginning.”
Help. I don’t know whether to laugh, or scratch my head in despair, over the simple-mindedness we humans can demonstrate.
I think of other areas, as well – schools, ethnic groups, gender, age. Take any category and you can see patterns of how humans set in action a course that will make their predictions come true.
We put down the poor for being poor; but we pay them minimal wage. We sale arms to groups or look the other way when others sale them arms; then we chastise them when they use the weapons. And on and on.
It’s easy for us to criticize these bigger events. But what about you and your own world? What do you say to yourself – and then follow through by following a path to make it come true?
A self-fulfilling prophecy is in direct opposition to studying the facts and taking steps to do the best by constantly tweaking along your life path.
A self-fulfilling prophecy is a cop-out.
And that holds true for positive outlooks as well. Of course, it is better to fill yourself with positive words to cheer yourself along the path. But make sure they’re not meaningless mantras devoid of facts. It’s the way you deal with those facts that enable you to come to the finish line with an all-encompassing life success.
In short, when you follow a prophecy, you are telling yourself the outcome before you begin the jog. You might finish the race, but look how much you have missed out on. The path to the finish line would have been filled with all kinds of other insights, not just about this situation. And you missed out all those other opportunities.
So what to do? Choice. That’s the key word, in history and in your personal life. Choose to look at what you say to yourself. Make sure they are fulfilled by dealing with life facts.
After all, you don’t just ‘play hockey’ even during the hockey season. And you don’t ‘play hockey’ for a lifetime. Take in all the facts, and make, not just the ‘game’ but your life a success.