Good Morning Ladies & Gents, Welcome Back! I hope that everything you have seen thus far has been of some help to you. If not, please be patient we are always working to bring something helpful to the rest of our Black Sheep. If there is anything you are searching for please feel free to reach out. I assure you we will do our best. As for today, I will be continuing the “From Hood to Hooked Up” series with Chapter 2, what is the importance of variables in life. For our first chapter, click here.
We find that we are missing a major component that we used to have. Regrettably, this missing element is a result of our need for instant gratification and cultural norms. As I said before, we are in a losing race to adapt to our advances. Now, all I can offer is insight and perspective.
Let’s begin! I have used this concept in every industry and in my daily life. It works 100% of the time.
Now, what is the importance of variables in life? What do I mean? I’m sure you can remember a time either in school or at work where you were asked to look at an equation or document to interpret. I’m sure you can remember (a + b =c). Some of you may be asking, “Well E, why does this matter?” Fortunately, what I’m about to tell you may not sound like it pertains to you or may make an impact, but trust me it will. Luckily, this has very little to do with the quantitative, but more of an abstract concept that can be applied.
Let’s think about this.
In said equations or “problems” all we are doing is seeking for a solution to said “obstacle.” Much like in our everyday lives we encounter a variety of snags, some concrete and others ambiguous at times. Please have an open mind with what I am about to say, but most of you may have inadvertently been going at this all wrong. What if I told you that you have been coming to the resolution for said predicament incorrectly? What if you’ve merely been filling up the gaps with assumptions? Unfortunately, this isn’t precise and is user dependent, but we, myself included, as a species function to make things as easy as possible. We, inadvertently adapt to be more efficient, or as I like to say lazy in some cases, when solving any issue.
From a mere evolutionary standpoint, this is so we can conserve energy and cognitive function for more arduous tasks.
For example, many of you commute to and from work or school on a daily basis. However, most days you find yourself not remembering the complete travel from point A to point B. As I said, we are efficient beings and as effective people, our brain functions automatically from start to finish. This means that we act based on our past experiences thus using less and less critical thinking. Furthermore, take the simple task of tying your shoe, due to experience we no longer must think critically to complete such a task since it is ingrained through practice.
Now, what if I were to tell you that you do this every day even when you don’t have all the information. You see in our daily lives; our minds can sometimes hinder the best possible outcome there is. It fills in the gaps from memories or experiences even if it is not our own. Our brain, all powerful as it is, fills in the missing pieces with information drawn from other sources. Now here’s the kicker. You are drawing from sources that may not be accurate. Are you starting to see what the importance of variables are in our daily life? If not, stay tuned.
I will give several examples:
- Say you work in corporate America, such as a bank. You receive an email from your boss saying that they are going to schedule a meeting with you because of some things that need to be discussed. Now from a very basic standpoint, the only variables you have is that a meeting will be held in the future for a discussion. However, from your past experiences, with your colleagues and very similar emails they have received, you unintentionally fill in the blanks with their information thus creating the variables to fill in the gaps. Unfortunately, you’ve come to the result with hardly any concrete information.
- Let’s stay in this setting. Say you have a young colleague that likes to enjoy all his weekends with family or friends drinking alcohol. Come Monday, he or she calls out from work. The only thing you know for sure is what you’ve heard or what has been said. Now, the brain efficiently fills in the gaps. Now, unless you have a direct line with the individual. You lack the necessary variables to make a solid conclusion. Regrettably, to make matters worse, say they were injured or lost someone close. Unfortunately, you have unwittingly assumed he or she is hungover which could possibly put yourself in a unfavorable situation.
- Again, without variables we cannot come to the best possible outcome. For my military folks, past and present, I am sure you can attest to this, but without knowing everything, the best battle plan cannot be made. The best battle plan has two goals: 1) complete the mission in a timely manner 2) keep everyone alive so to speak. For my civilian folks, that means keep yourself out of trouble. If those two can be met, then that is the most optimal plan.
Simply put, don’t make assumptions.
Only know for a fact! As Black Sheep, we do not deal in uncertainty. Unless you’re a scientist and can come up with an educated hypothesis derived from gathering evidence for the said problem then don’t even try it. Clearly, there is importance of variables in our life.
Let’s look at some more examples.
- Working in the fitness industry for sooo many years, I would always get bombarded with questions regarding nutrition or lifting form. Unfortunately, what I would always respond with is “unless I am present to critique your form (or through videos from multiple angles) or looking at your nutrition log for some time, I cannot be of any service to anyone.” Sure, I can give the most basic guidelines, but really without all the variables necessary, I really can’t dive deep into all my knowledge and experience to be of most use to anyone.
- As a matter of fact, this continued when I worked in the hospital and clinic, whether it was a patient, friend or family, I would get harassed for therapy or rehabilitation advice lacking the necessary information to give the proper diagnoses. Obviously, that’s like asking a doctor for a remedy to an illness that no longer exists.
- Let’s continue, I have worked with individuals who came from other trainers or sport coaches, and as I have stated before any trainer worth anything always continues their education because it is the variables and experience, they are after. The unknowns so to speak. Unfortunately, I have run into many clients who spout the basic guidelines as if they were dogma like it were the only way to achieve the result. Again, they are merely parrots mimicking the master. For example, the squat’s basic guidelines are knees out, back straight, feet forward, and head up. However, you’re not going to tell a squatter who’s putting 800+ pounds on their back perfectly that they are doing it wrong because their feet are wide and externally rotated. I repeat again variables!
Clearly, variables paint the perfect picture.
If you ask me you would want to paint at least 85% or more of said picture, you know metaphorically speaking. Hopefully, your still with us and are starting to understand why Black Sheep’s tick. Why they seek knowledge or strive for further experience. But let us continue from a different industry.
- I was fortunate enough to work as a marketing consultant for the NFL. Unfortunately, during my time on this project, I was flabbergasted at the fact at how unprepared one of the marketers was. She lacked all the variables necessary to come up with the best marketing plan and failed to acknowledge past shortcomings. All in all, this was an organization that held fast to their past practices because “if it worked in the past then it is sure to work again.” Fortunately, for myself and Phan, we knew straightaway that what we required was data and knowledge not only on the organization, but their past successes and failures, their current marketing plan, and their future endeavors. Right away we perfected their current marketing strategy and created new marketing tactics. Let me tell you this was a fun project, but it did require a lot of work because of the lack of variables.
By now, hopefully you get the picture.
It does not matter if you are talking about a personal/professional relationship, at work, school, or any other variable you can come up with. The importance of variables in life is something not to be taken lightly and is valued by Black Sheep all around. Without all the variables, you are doing yourself and other parties involved a disservice which can lead to some unwanted costs.
I’m sure you can think of many similar ideas to my variable concept. I say do what works best for you. Obviously, for me, variables are the one way I can look at things objectively. Furthermore, variables are the one thing I can manipulate in order to result in the best possible outcome that I desire. Be wary of your internal monologue and assumptions!
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