I had a great rant running through my head after dealing with a client who ignored directions by my tech team and found themselves with a real Black Friday -- or rather, a blackout Friday because their server couldn't handle the traffic. People fail miserably at things because they choose to ignore facts.
But then my rant started to unravel because I've seen them succeed brilliantly for the same reason. The trick is in what facts you ignore and which ones you pay attention to.
Unfortunately, it turns out that facts are contextual and truth is subjective.
Try comparing your airline ticket with your neighbor on a flight. You might justify that you bought your ticket on Priceline and they bought theirs on Orbitz, but honestly, one seat to the next has a whole slew of different 'facts' attached to it.
Those arrival and departure times on your ticket are up for grabs, too. Weather in Texas might keep your flight in Florida from taking off at all. Or maybe they just didn't book enough people on that flight so you have to catch a different plane -- again, your seatmate may be going to exactly the same place as you, but that doesn't mean you're going to end up on the same plane or get home at the same time.
I find that I can manipulate the facts. If I dress professionally when I fly, I get taken better care of. They assume I'm going to come back and remember that they took care of me. Of course, what I remember is that if I dress better I get taken better care of, not that United did me a favor or Alaska got me a seat upgrade.
Then again, there are times that if I'm dressed too well, I get put in the, 'Make him pay for it' bucket, and then it all goes upside down.
The trouble is that our world continues to get just a little more complicated all the time. And getting on a plane, or driving across town, or writing a rambling note about how complex the truth is getting as complex as the weather.
And we know how well assessing the facts tell us what the weather is going to do…