We are pattern recognition experts.  All of us.  Give yourself a trophy for it.  However, patterns breed expectations and predictions which in turn breed assumptions whose kindred is often inaction.


The NFL season is upon us which is a petri dish ripe to observe this phenomena.

“The Dolphins will beat up on the Jaguars with ease.”   Everyone agrees.

Well they didn’t.  The Jags won – an upset.

Upsets happened all of the time.  That is why we play the game.

In our universe, probability and reality are two separate animals because the Jags and Dolphins don’t play each other 1000 times – they play once.  Probable and actual outcomes are not cousins in our universe of singular outcomes. (For my mathematician and string-theory enthusiasts – settle down, you know what I mean)

How often do we use patterns against ourselves?  We’ve declared the results before getting to the finish line.  Do you allow yourself to “play the game” regardless of the odds, or do you use pattern recognition as an excuse to accept the status quo?

“Play the game” . . . . our history books are full, almost exclusively, of people who choose to “play the game” and refuse to to except that probable outcomes are mirror refections of actual outcomes.