Why we fail to foresee or figure out what is coming!

Iconic and huge companies like Apple and Dell have not been able to foresee what is coming. After cruising to crest, Apple is now staring at its fall. Its share price from the peak in September, 2012 has come down by more than 45% in a span of 6 months and its recovery till date is a far cry, despite strong quarterly profit of around $13 Billion and success of its iPad mini. Michael Dell, who founded his business with just a thousand dollar in 1984 and grew it to more than 60 Billion Dollar Company by revenue through his most talked about innovative business model, is now under criticism for not being innovative enough and seen as a problem person for Dell Inc.!

Look at several icons like Lance Armstrong, regarded earlier as cyclist legend and Rajat Gupta, former Managing Director of McKinsey & Co. Their status and career have been decimated, since they could never figure out what can befall on them from what they were doing!

Don’t look at most respected alone; look at even most hated, look at omniscient as well as ordinary; you would discover most of them were unable to comprehend consequences of what they were doing and that dragged them into dire difficulties of varying degrees.

It is critical for you to develop common sense or capabilities to fathom or figure out what is that you would face from what you and others, connected with you, are thinking or doing.

Are current methods and means good enough to foresee?

These are truly not! Yes, these are good for indicating trends and trails, and therefore, provide limited help.

When it comes to business, market, economy, weather, public polling, surveys etc., there are models, statistical analysis, formulae, tools available, which can tell you probable results. These may or may not turn out as realities.

At personal levels, there are several practices, people resort to peep into future – horoscopy, palmistry, numerology, zodiac signs and so on. Is there any scientific rationale behind these? Not really; though many claim there is one. “The way these work” is by building your conviction for what is being told to you. Stronger your convictions are, stronger are chances for things to happen. Do one test – if what is being foretold to you is positive, it is less likely to happen as opposed to one, if it is negative. This is because you would always fall prey to negatives more than positives!

To foresee is more a game of human mind, of which scientists and technologists have not been able to make a model. It is doubtful whether they would be able to make a right one ever!

Nothing can come in all of a sudden!

Here is a stark fact about our life, planet or even universe. Nothing can happen or come all of a sudden!

Things or situations do build over a time (how long or short is not a question; after all it is all relative). Therefore, these do give us signal/s. Some can sense the same; most cannot, since either they don’t want or ignore or are ignorant about ways to feel and figure out!

What blocks your mind to comprehend or contemplate correctly

  1. Preconceived notions or ideas.
  2. Over confidence or under confidence.
    Over confidence would deter you to comprehend; whereas under confidence would drive your conclusions wrong.
  3. Inflexibility and closed mind.
  4. Ego, biases or prejudices.
  5. Poor listening and observations.
  6. Frustration, fear, ferocity, fury or in general “Negative frame of mind”!
  7. Too much or too less attention to details.
  8. Lack of respect for others’ viewpoints.
  9. Lack of awareness or consciousness.
  10. Not learning and paying attention to body language.
  11. Being hasty or in rush, which is actually a state of confused mind!
  12. Trading towards left or right end of the scale of qualities like sincerity, rationality, courage, intelligence or passion.
    For example, if you are over courageous, you would take undue risks and under-courage would make you risk averse. Your qualities should be such as to keep you around center of the scale for getting great results!

These are some of many reasons, why we fail to foresee things to come. There are many things, which many don’t perceive as negative; but these are. Essentially, all negative things are barriers for good analysis, assumption and anticipation.

Signals or States, which are definite indicators of what is coming

  1. When things have to go right for you, nothing can shake or break your confidence, hopes and happy state of your mind.
    Example which you can test – if you face at least 3 consecutive situations, which can impact you adversely in normal course; but in this instance, these do negatively affect or disturb you, then you can be sure that right or good results are coming.
    Try this when your boss or board calls you to hand over letter for your yearly consideration! Most probably, you would be rewarded commensurate with or better than what you had been doing!!
  2. Likewise, when things have to go wrong, no matter how good thoughts or things happen to you, you would not feel good and instead, would remain doubtful, disappointed or dejected!
    There is a quote – “When things have to go wrong; they would go wrong in any case”. But, a new revelation from my research is – “Then, no matter what you do, you would not be able to keep your mind in right state”.
  3. If going is good and you take it as granted, that’s when it would go out of your hands!
  4. When you feel like waiting or worrying for thing/s to happen; it won’t happen (or would get delayed)!
    Instead, if you ignore, remain engaged in your efforts and keep just hopes, same thing would get expedited.
    It is like leaving it to Almighty and you see thing happening – what you actually do by that is “not to bother whether things would happen or not”.
  5. When you feel pressure to keep something close to your chest and not communicate or discuss openly, when needed, then you are surely going to go wrong and it would hurt or harm you now or later.
  6. What makes you obsessed is bound to become obnoxious for you!
    This applies to your power, position, success, love, relationship, friendship or even righteousness!!
  7. Bad news travel in bunches; so are good news!
    Only way to break the bunch of bad news is to gather courage to become positive and poised. Likewise, if you become negative in the midst of good news, you would unwittingly invite bad ones!!
  8. If Excellence makes you over confident, comfortable, inflexible or inconsiderate, that’s a sure sign of Adversity arriving to grip you/your organization.
  9. Things that you dislike would long for and live with you!
  10. When you lose your composure and consciousness, chaos and conflicts would certainly knock at your door.
  11. When thought of “having had smooth journey for work, life or health” embeds in your mind, that is the time it starts to become rough!
  12. If ideas for decision making flow in your mind systematically, without any distraction or distress, those are precisely the ones which would prove your point/s!

So, secret of “what is coming” lies in the state of your mind. But then, you need to learn to judge it correctly. If you are constantly conscious or aware and remain around center of your quality scale, you would seldom fail to fathom!


6 responses to “Why we fail to foresee or figure out what is coming!”

  1. Murli Lohia Avatar
    Murli Lohia

    Transferred from LinkedIn

    messages-noreply@bounce.linkedin.com] On Behalf Of Martina Scholtzova

    Dear Murli,

    again an excellent article that I cannot but agree to the last word of it!

    I would like to support your article by bringing to your attention (unless you already are aware) this study: Unrealistic Optimism About Future Life Events by Neila D. Weinstein, published in 1980 in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. I read it in Czech language and in short it says: students were asked to evaluate prabability of42 furtnate or unfortunate events in their lives. They were comparing their own chances with chances of an average students at University. The result is not surprising 🙂 Majority of the students were sure that the pleasant events are very likely to happen (e.g. great careers, wealth etc.) but unpleasant would most probably not happen (bancrupt, serious illness etc.)

    Another great study was done by Tali Sharot, who published The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain in 2011 on the same topic.

    Last but not least, a funny synchronicity occured. I just finished my own article about past and future success as seen through LI endorsement lenses 🙂 In case you had time to read it, I would be grateful for your comment, insights and tips on my blogging: http://dimensions-blog.com/2013/05/10/am-i-good-enough/

    Keep safe and well!


    1. Murli Avatar

      I highly commend your valuable and kind comments!

      It is very nice of you to make me aware of 2 studies made – by Neila Weinstein and Tali Sharot. I did not know about these. Great!

      I have read your article just now. My off hand impression is that it is very candid and courageous article and reflects your persona! I am very impressed!! Most people hesitate to put their forthright views on table, especially when those indicate dissent. However, when one takes initiative to do that, it does open door for unique opportunity.

  2. Murli Lohia Avatar
    Murli Lohia

    From: Jayateerth.Kulkarni@emerson.com [mailto:Jayateerth.Kulkarni@emerson.com]
    Sent: Friday, May 10, 2013 6:07 PM

    To: murlilohia@gmail.com

    Subject: RE: Why we fail to foresee or figure out what is coming!


    Saw your message could read part of it as the website was very slow, I understood from Biman that it is due to the I-explorer that I use….what you have commented on Dell and Apple are very true, with the change in wind, we need to change our stance and that is the need of the day, this requires Vison, Foresight and constant updating of oneself on happenings around himself.

    1. Murli Avatar

      I feel very thankful to you for your interest in these articles.

      For website speed, please see P.S., which I have been putting in my messages for last several weeks. For this website, we need Internet Explorer version 9 and above. It is freely available for download on internet.

      The views expressed by you are valuable and true. Thanks a lot! Since I always wish you to be very successful, it may be appropriate to state that this and most of earlier articles have several key points and secrets of our life and nature. Please do ponder over these. These can make a huge difference to you!!

  3. Rudra Avatar

    Regarding the company’s examples you’ve given, it’s all about your temperament and handling that pressure of success, isn’t it? And then it becomes really necessary to be able to foresee what’s coming… and as you rightly pointed-out, many people fail at that…

    I think things going right or wrong……… is all about your state of mind. When your state of mind is right, you’ll feel everything’s going right (even if it isn’t) and vice-versa!!

    One can easily relate to all the 12 signals that you’ve mentioned which are indicators of what’s coming!! I’ve personally been through few of them… 😉

    So eventually it comes down to the “State of mind” and nothing else, isn’t it??

    1. Murli Avatar

      I am very happy to receive your valuable comments!

      On examples of big companies’ performance going low from a high, it has lot to do with character and consciousness of top management, its strategy, ability to change and adapt to emerging situations.

      I am pleased to see that you have narrowed down to State of Mind as single most important factor, which impacts us and our environments. Good to know you experienced some of 12 signals as indicators of things to come!

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