We have many targets in our lives, for example, our personal goals, and business targets in our job. Our success is defined as whether we achieve those targets. Results are essential, but we should give more attention to the processes that lead to those results.
Recently, I am interested in learning poker in a more systematic way. One thing I notice is sometimes you can win the pot even if you made some bad decisions. Judging from the result itself, I am doing good. But if I do it long enough, the way I play will eventually hurt me. I need to play in a way that the Expected Value of my strategy is always positive. That doesn’t mean I will win every time. It just means if I am in the game long enough, I will make money.
When I reflect on this, this bias happens quite often. One immediate example I can think of is stock performance. Winning in one stock is really happy. But the key is if you repeat the stock-picking process you used to pick this winning stock, can you win in the long run? Issues will also arise if we are too obsessed with short-term results, for example taking too much risk.
We should focus more on the process that generates the result, and evaluate the quality of our decisions based on long-term, and sustainable targets.