Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Two is one, one is none

While some might find my state of readiness bordering on a slight extreme, I'm meeting more and more people who share the same train of thought. The fact of the matter is that we cannot be prepared enough, no matter what we do, all we can hope for is that we did our best and that we didn't have our heads in the sand.

By acknowledging that we are not perfect individuals, and understanding that from the get-go, we will essentially have placed ourselves in the correct mindset for success. Centuries ago, Socrates said that 'The only real wisdom is knowing you know nothing' and that holds true today in a world where everybody thinks they are the best, that they are superior, but where did that mentality come from? Perhaps we were taught to be competitive at an early age. Schools, sports, competitions train us to be better than the other person so that we can excel in life - but at what cost?

We end up becoming uncaring, selfish, and in the end feel as if we are more superior because of our achievements. But if we really are that great, then where is the failure point? You see, by not acknowledging that we have a failure point, we stop testing ourselves, we stop believing that things will go wrong, because we think that we can overcome anything. The truth is, everyone has a failure point, everyone breaks, and realizing that sooner rather than later, might be the most valuable lesson in life.

No matter if we are talking about people or devices, everything has a failure point, its Murphy's law that everything that can go wrong will go wrong at some point. Thus the saying, two is one, one is none. But what does that really mean?

It's a saying that applies mostly to military or law enforcement officers who rely on their duty gear everyday, but it can apply to us as well. Think of something that you need to use everyday that will be carried with you wherever you go, and then think about what will happen if you lose that item. Will your life, or quality of life be severely affected if such a thing were to happen? If so, then carry two of them. For example, if I need to use a pen everyday, I will carry two. I will use one pen, that will be my primary pen, and the other one will be a backup pen. The primary pen will serve me well, but the variables of failure will be if I lose it, gets broken, or I run out of ink, at which point, the backup pen will be there as a supplement. So you see, two is one, and one is none.

While that may seem trivial to us civilians, I find that adopting this mentality helps as we operate at a higher efficiency level. While other people rely on this philosophy to save their lives, we can always see how we can implement it accordingly. Perhaps one day it could prove to be a lifesaver too.