Different Probability Distributions In School and Life

School is rather poor preparation for life. This is true with the skills you learn in school, but even more true with regards to the mindset you use.



Let’s imagine you’re in school and taking an exam with 10 questions. You get 8 of the questions wrong, and just 2 right. F-, right?

Or, how about this: You’re taking a class that’s graded solely on test ability. You have 7 tests during the year, and you fail 6 of them, only narrowly passing the 7th. A complete failure wouldn’t you agree?



Let’s say you’re looking for a job after graduation. You are looking for a job in industry X, and you interview at 10 different companies, and only get job offers from 2.

Result: You’ve won, you can choose between 2 companies you want to work at, and play them off each other in a bidding war over yourself.

Let’s say you’re a script writer in Hollywood and pitch scripts to 10 different producers/companies. With each pitch, you get better at selling your idea and script. You get offers from 2 companies.

Result: You are going to make a ton of money, boost your resume.



Losing doesn’t matter that much. Maybe the interviewer was having a bad day. Maybe you need to get better. Maybe you accidentally ticked someone off. Maybe their investors backed out and they don’t want to tell you because it would be humiliating. Maybe you didn’t flatter someone who’s proud and thinks you should have paid them more attention. You have no idea why you failed (most times), and many times neither do I.


The only things you can control are:

1. Your Attitude
2. How Good You Are – Keep Improving!
3. Whether or Not You Keep Going

Beyond that, there’s not a lot you can control. And famous people have failed a LOT.


Lindsey Stirling got publicly humiliated on live TV when she went on America’s Got Talent and was told she sounded like rats being strangled. Steve Jobs famously got ousted from Apple and spent about 10 years floundering at NeXT Computer and pouring money into a failing computer animation studio called Pixar before his return to lead the renaissance at Apple in the 90’s and 00’s, and I’m sure Elon Musk has been turned down by investors many times.

William C. Durant got thrown out of General Motors after founding the company – before finding a way back. J.K. Rowling got rudely rejected by the first literary agent she sent Harry Potter to, and her second agent received 11 rejections of the manuscript over years before Bloomsbury ended up publishing it. I mean, who would want to read a story about a magical orphan going to boarding school?!


Failures don’t matter. Just keep getting better, and keep going.

I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging…

~ Gandalf, The Hobbit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *