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Living in denial

We often come across teams that we think don't merit a win, but win competitions nonetheless. We come across people we think don't merit praise or a promotion, but they are rewarded with it nonetheless. We come across ideas that we think don't merit funding, manuscripts that don't merit being published, songs that don't merit being recorded and sold, and yet these things happen all the time.

Our reaction can be to find others who think the same and have endless discussions over how the world is an unfair place and how our ideas and our work merits better rewards, recognition and praise than the ones that do get them. Our reaction can be to convince ourselves that it is a matter of luck that our work doesn't get recognised while ones that we consider inferior do.

This is simply living in denial.

What we ought to be doing instead is to accept that there are plausible reasons for the results we are observing, and to learn from those whose work is taking them forward and to inculcate the positive things in our own approaches so that we continue to get better.

Like we do in data-driven product development, where we observe user behaviour and treat that as the absolute truth and learn from that and refine our hypotheses to make our products better, rather than merely have endless discussions about how an inferior product by a competitor is getting better traction than our own product, we ought to do the same in our individual lives.

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