In a recent conversation, someone shared with me that a future event had a twenty percent chance of occurring. I replied that there was a fifty fifty chance that it would occur. The person responded that they were happy to hear I was optimistic. This surprised me. For I did not feel I was being optimistic.
Describing something as a fifty fifty chance is a different way of saying “I don’t know”. This was my reply to their assertion of my optimism. While fifty fifty chances acknowledge that anything is possible, we rarely use this marker in conversation. It never feels right to be this ambiguous or uncertain.
For our survival, we make assumptions that seemingly protect us from harm. If we believe there are bears in the forest, we most likely will not walk in the forest. Although, we don’t know if there are any bears in the area we will walk in.
We easily communicate opinion in conversation as if it was fact. To provide the illusion of being factual, we speak with certainty. That this or that will happen without fail. it provides us with our own created measuring stick that validates the logic we are using. There is no room for fifty fifty chances here.
Goal setting is another form of stating with certainty the future. Of course, it helps focus our attention and efforts to realize a goal or future state. Achieving a goal though is never guaranteed. Weight loss comes to mind as an example.
So fifty fifty chances leave us exposed. With no measuring stick. No defender of our logic. And no future that we can battle for. It simply leaves us with luck. Leaving us without the satisfaction of the illusion of control over our future.
Being sensitive to options and the fact that they equally have a chance of appearing is difficult for us to process because we are not trained this way. Fifty fifty chances acknowledge the possibility of different futures outside of our control.
Preparing for more than one future is a different form of safety rarely practiced in our lives. But one worth considering the more important and life changing the decision.