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Is The Improbable Likely to Occur?

What we did not dare, we certainly lost, while by risking, we were only more or less likely to lose.

Leaders are visionaries with an underdeveloped sense of fear and a non-existent concept of probability, to their detriment.

Foresight means being able to discern the probable from the improbable, the possible from the impossible. Probability can be deduced from principles, but truth or certainty can only be obtained from facts.

It seems that to make a correct conjecture about any event it is necessary to calculate exactly the number of possible cases and then determine how much more likely one case is to occur than another. We know that these probability-based arguments are false and, if we do not use them carefully, can be misleading.

A former Lehman Brothers analyst claimed to be able to measure risk. You can measure a table, an object, or a temperature. But how can one claim to measure the probability of a future event? What we do is an estimate. It is different.

No matter how sophisticated our choices are or how good we are at mastering probability: chance will always have the last word.

Ordinary people only believe in the possible. Extraordinary people do not visualise what is possible or probable, but rather what is impossible. And by visualising the impossible, they begin to see it as possible.

Nothing holds back human progress like the false belief that the words ‘impossible’ and ‘improbable’ are synonymous.

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Rached Alimi
Rached Alimi
My name is Rached Alimi. I am a Senior Director with over thirty-five years of banking experience in this field and in other more complex ones. Titles don't mean anything. Our actions are what is truly priceless. I love to dig into the depths of being and seize the most beautiful pearls to share with those who are capable of receiving them. I love to write and think, and I am convinced that a careful reading of the works of a writer makes his personality and understanding surface much more than the knowledge presented within his biography. Because the latter reflects what he has in common with the rest of humanity, as presented in his works.

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3 CONVERSATIONS

  1. The impossible is not what cannot be achieved. It is what the dominant reality simply excludes, because it poses a threat. Contemplate a radical transformation of the present. The impossible is the breaking point of a situation that can no longer be sustained.
    But you don’t realize a new possibility if you aren’t prepared to embrace it in your imagination. Expanding the imagination nourishes the ability to innovate: because you can only move the limit of the possible by starting from the vision of a new road that habit prevents you from noticing.

  2. Your post made me think of the BEG calculations I used to impress my CFO with. One day he asked which kind of statistics was involved and I told him none – it was a best educated guess. He asked if he could borrow the concept…

    That said, I found The Signal and The Noise a good read – the probability for outliers increases every time a hitherto improbable event happens. It is logically improbable to have a 100 year storm every decade – improbable but not impossible, just like having 5 6es in a row when casting a dice is improbable but not impossible. But it increases the chance of having even bigger storms than what used to qualify for a 100 year event.

    That was the math – now I have to think more about the mindset part of your post.

  3. So many improbable things have happened in my life. Only now, years later do I realize that for me these were always possiblilities but for many I knew, they were impossible.

    Impossible for them, and sometimes they would try to put their ideas of that impossibility onto me. On occasion, I bought into their ideas of impossibility but eventually I realized that these ideas were like bad fitting shoes. Not my ideas, not my possibilities, not my improbable reality.

    Thank you for sharing these thoughts. I’m reminded that much of my success has come from being open to seeing possibilities in the opportunities that arise, allowing things to grow and become, rather than determining what could not be.

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