(Life) Skew

Left tail beware, right tail aware. 

I’d say it’s a financial planning concept, but it’s really a general life concept. 

Most of life is average. You get up, make coffee, walk the dog, etc. etc. etc. 

Anything average can get colored with good or bad luck. Or REALLY good or REALLY bad luck. Luck has a funny way of skewing the view of the thing. 

Here’s were skew comes in. 

To the left is bad. To the right is good. 


“You got up this morning” is average. 

“You got up this morning with a weird pang in your neck” is left of average. “You didn’t get up this morning because you died” is hard left of average. 

In the other direction – “you got up this morning regretting leg day but also being proud of your regret” is right of average. “You got up this morning sore, but while you stretched you had a eureka moment to solve a work problem” is further down the right tail. “While stretching you found a winning lottery ticket under the bed” would be an extreme right-tail event. 

But back to applying “left tail beware, right tail aware.” 

Beware the left tail. Know how to fight another day and stay clear of anything that can wipe you out. The more negative the potential unlucky outcome, the more you want to beware. 

Be aware of the right tail. Intentionally fight the good fights for another day, and keep your eye out for good luck that needs to be noticed. The more positive the potentially lucky outcome, the more you want to be aware of it. Engage in the conversation, make the “thing” (whatever your thing is), and take the good risks.  

h/t Meg Bartelt for drawing this out of me

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