Aristotle said we live in a world of possibilities and probabilities, not certainties.
We can’t know everything and be 100% sure we have “all the facts. "
Decisions must be made, plans undertaken, and ships need to set sail and leave port.
In a word there will always be AMBIGUITY associated with our schedules, priorities, and even values. Trade-offs must be made, compromises, too.
If we wallow in details, we’ll never get anywhere, and worse, we may come to feel overwhelmed.
But how can we address ambiguity properly?
One of the best ways to handle it and to make forward progress is to ask: “What isn’t ambiguous about this situation?"
In other words, what actions CAN I take now, or MUST I take now that are not subject to vagueness or uncertainty?
Let’s say you’re negotiating to buy a house.
You’ve found a dwelling that you think is close to ideal. So, you might not like everything about it, the color of the exterior, or the landscaping, but “the bones" of the place are good and strong.
And while you’re concerned about what you cannot see, such as the plumbing and fitness of the roof, you want the place.
The key is to BEGIN WHERE YOU CAN.
Start with the overall value of the property as it is priced. If it is listed below market, you have a margin for error. You can make an offer knowing that if you suddenly face a significant repair, you’ll be able to afford to finance it, if necessary.
Or, you can ask: Is this an insurable risk?
Is there a way of protecting yourself from the risks through a buyer’s protection plan? There are such plans and they’re cheap, and often sellers will pay for them.
If your roof or plumbing springs a major leak, you’ll be on the hook merely for a small deductible amount.
There are some ambiguous things, major elements of a deal, that you simply cannot know.
Is the market expected to rise or fall in value?
Even seasoned investors get this one wrong. Very savvy Japanese corporations misread the Los Angeles commercial real estate market at one point and lost billions, expecting it to at least hold its own if not to rise in value.
Instead of worrying yourself sick because of unknowns, it’s better to dismiss them, entirely.
Just focus on doing what you can with the facts you have at hand, because everything else is fanciful and at best, irrelevant.
Best-selling author of 12 books and more than 900 articles, Dr. Gary S. Goodman is considered “The Gold Standard"-the foremost expert in sales development, customer service, and telephone effectiveness. Top-rated as a speaker, seminar leader, and consultant, his clients extend across the globe and the organizational spectrum, from the Fortune 1000 to small businesses. He can be reached at: email@example.com .