Estimating Growth

I wrote about how we tend to overestimate mental strength and underestimate physical strength. The story is a bit similar with growth; we tend to overestimate our ability to grow and change in the short run. We would think that we can achieve some crazy target or try to force ourselves to get from Grade E to grade B in a few months. They are probably not impossible, but it will take a lot of effort and even if we plan well, things might not work out so well.

On the other hand, if we allow those short term lack of performance to cause us to be disappointed and discouraged from trying on and on, then it would be a pity. Because we tend to severely underestimate the potential for change and growth in the longer term. Even if things don’t seem to go as planned in short term, interestingly, once a direction is well-set, the longer term situation tends to be more optimistic even though more time tends to cause people to think more things can go wrong.

But more good things can happen because of that too. We severely undervalue and underestimate what we can accomplish over longer period of times and tend to think whatever happened in the short term will simply stay the same. If you’re unhappy enough about your situation, you’d tend to change it.