Don’t Listen to What They Tell You

Except for when people like me tell you things that are obviously correct.

As an independent thinker well versed in the fine art of lifestyle design, one of the greatest limitations to my growth across a wide variety of pursuits is bad information. 

As I move through the seasons of life, like anyone, my decisions are based on the details given. In this modern age, these tidbits of knowledge can come from a variety of sources… many of whom have an agenda other than faithful reporting of the facts.

Think of it this way, if your profit depends on viewership. And viewership depends on compelling sensational content. Then a propensity to embellish becomes a means to an end for many such presentation professionals.

In my own life, I can think of minor and major instances where I became caught up in the hype instead of moving forward with the plan. And as such, I sacrificed time, energy, and money trying to pick up the pieces later. This can be further exacerbated through conversations with acquaintances and sometimes friends. Thinking of your own personal experiences, you might have noticed that people fixate on the negatives as a scheme for progress avoidance. Misery does, after all, linger wherever trepidation abounds.

Looking back, I can remember failing to cut hay out of the fear of rain. Canceling river trips out of fear of the cold. I’ve watched school canceled over the fear of blizzards that never materialize. And don’t get me started on the fun avoided for fear of humidity… 

Funny thing is, I can usually get wet hay dried out again through strategic raking. I also own a decent collection of cold-weather gear, every vehicle I own is all-wheel drive, and my sweat glands function perfectly fine.

In short, there is very little excuse for any sort of analysis paralysis based on your local weather source.

Tractor mowing tall, long grass.

And if preparedness isn’t enough to convince you to think independently, remember the following:

  1. Statistically speaking, in the middle of the United States the weather tends to be similar for three days in a row. (Source: someone in my past, I can’t remember.) This means that a weatherperson who stands up every day and says the weather will be the same as yesterday will be correct 2 out of 3 days. A whopping 66%!
  2. A 50% chance of rain by its very nature implies a 50% chance of NO rain. Extend this thinking across the range of possible percentages and after studying a self-help book on positive thinking, you should be able to convince yourself of dry weather whenever it’s not actively raining.
  3. Current storms don’t move in the same direction as past storms, nor do they maintain their intensity over the duration of their path. That is, radar is a great indicator of present conditions but it is not a predictor of the future in all instances.

Remember, it takes some effort to ignore the “experts,” but a 50% success rate of a given number of attempts will always be more than a 100% success rate of nothing. So you might as well be an independent thinker and stop letting the weather dictate your life.

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This post was written by Nick Schmitz, January 2021.

Nick grilling on the Le Sueur River

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