Category Archives: Positive Thinking

Tweaking Probability Equation


I am known as motivational guru in my friend circle. People call me when they are low on confidence. But what I tell them is similar. I always repeat this example. I would like to state it here. It is amalgamation of two theories, one the theory of attraction, two the theory of probability. I combine these two simple theories to form a solution. And which many find quite effective.

The first one, the theory of attraction also known as the law of attraction, says that we attract the mould our one future by attracting things we are thinking about. And also by not attracting things we don’t want. This theory has been around since ages but I got familiar with the same by reading book, “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. Thought it sounds very simple but to put it in practice is an arduous task and that is where the difference between Gold medallist and Silver medallist lies. In 1985, Pawel Lewicki had conducted an experiment at the University of Warsaw. He asked students to select a picture of a woman from two. Call them picture X and picture y. The probability of getting any picture getting selected over here is 50-50. But in another attempt, he tried to influence the selection process. He asked woman who resembled the one in picture Y to have an interaction with the students. And there is no doubt the outcome was biased. And more students ended up selecting Picture Y. This is a simple way to say what power this law has. The life is always governed by such simple laws. If we break the complexity of life in smaller modules; modules of years, months, days, moments, we will find that the life is too easy to be lived in the moment without wondering and getting worried about the future. The life is all about applying this simple theory at the grassroots level.

The second theory is known as the theory of probability. This one is simpler than the previous one. Every tenth grade students knows about this. If we think about the outcomes of any event, be it tossing up the coin or rolling the dice. Every possible outcome has same likelihood. The probability of getting heads is 50 %, probability of getting 1 on dice is 16.66%.

If we combine above mentioned theories, the event that is about to happen in our life also has the same likelihood. A student going for exams, sets a target for himself, there are two possibilities. Either he achieves target or he does not. Then why there are so many people in the world who fails to achieve what they want? It is obvious that any student would like to be 90% per cent holder or at least not a failure. Then why the outcome of simple probability theory is biased. The answer is in the theory of attraction. We always have the fear of society. In book “the secret”, Rhonda Byrne asks us to act as if we have already achieved what we have been wanting to. The problem with this implication is fear of what would happen if we fail to do so. Society will start bullying us and so on. And that is where we are attracting the negative energy and giving weightage to what we don’t want. And the result of probability get biased towards something that we don’t want. The universe is mirror, it simply reflects what we have been uttering but in terms of action. Then what should we do to avoid such humiliation and yet avoid the fear of getting worse. The solution lies in having someone special in our life, which would not overreact even if we don’t reach there.

We are human being and “Too err is human nature”. Hence in our pursuit of excellence we might find ourselves off the target sometimes. I would like to share my experience where I was preparing for competitive exam.  To get into the top institute, it was quite obvious to score 99%percentile. I scored 45%percentile in first few mocks. Even in 10th such mock test I was off the target. But what kept me going was the flaw in human nature which I quoted earlier. I kept telling myself “I am improving, don’t worry everybody makes mistakes, I will improve” and the energy kept me moving. The result was 98%percentile in 19th mock. It is all about getting positives from wherever you can and keep working.

Given the choice between favourable result and pathetic outcome, we would like to get the former but we keep wondering about the world where we always think , what would happen if second outcome happens and hence we disturbs the probability equation. It is better to get into ground without any predilection about the result and keep doing the best. If we do the best, give our best shot, we will get only and only positive outcome.

Ideally, the equation of probability could be written in following manner.

 P(A) + P(A’)=1.0

But the mentioned theory might help us in tweaking the equation a little.

 [P(A)*Belief that you will get it] + [P(A’)*fear that you will not get it]=1.0

 Here,’ belief’ and ‘fear’ are mutually exclusive. If you believe you can achieve it then fear of not getting becomes zero and vice-versa.