It Takes Chaos And Confidence

In physics, a two-body problem is how we understand what happens when two objects interact with each other in space. Two-body problems are predictable. They’re like cause and effect, or the things in our professional work where we say, “If this happens, then we’ll do that.”

Three-body problems, on the other hand, are not possible to predict. The addition of a third body makes the complexity go through the roof. Three-body problems are random. They’re like the things in our work where there are extra variables that are out of our control. This means good and bad luck can be at play.

While far from perfect, one thing we can do is take a large-scale three-body problem and isolate a small-scale two-body problem to have some sense of what’s going on. Think of playing pool. When you initially break it’s way more than a three-body problem. The break is chaotic. However, from the next shot on, you get to line up one shot at a time. You can have a higher sense of purpose and confidence in these shots.

With our work, we want to put ourselves into situations where (good) luck can happen. Networking events, social platforms, stuff where we’re outside of our comfort zone – these are our three-body problems. The point is we put ourselves there, not to predict, but to see what happens. It’s our pool break. We have to do it so the actual shots can follow.

Likewise, when we’re going into a three-body problem we should already be preparing ourselves for the two-body problems we’ll address next. Once the pool balls break, we pick out a shot. Once the networking event has concluded, we start our targeted follow-ups. Once we realize some luck, we apply our skill to make the most of it.

We need both chaos and confidence to move our work forward. Find the two- and three-body problems and define them. Recognize we’ll need the exposure to random luck and the follow-up activities to drive growth. Accept the mix of solvable and unsolvable problems and keep moving forward.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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