There is practically no chance that bad thing will happen…


I told you I spoke on a cruise.  The above panicked text message came from my sweet romantic partner person, Mike.  I texted him that I was having a drink with a few of the teachers I’d hung out with in Nassau, then I was going to go back to my room for the sleeping.  “I hope I don’t fall off the boat!  Ha ha ha.” I joked.

Then his head exploded and the flurry of panicky texts began! 

In his defense, I’m very flattered that he wants me to be safe, and that he is concerned about the risks associated with my frequent unusual traveling activities.  This makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

1-2 people every month seemed like a lot…so I did a little math.  2 people divided by 2.5 million cruisers…I had a 0.00008% chance of falling off the ship. 

Just for comparison,

  • 0.0065% chance of getting struck by lightning
  • 1.4% chance of being bit by a dog
  • 0.001% chance of finding a 4-leaf clover
  • 0.43872% chance of figuring out the exact moment that you “got old” by saying that exact phrase in the exact tone that your mom always used that drove you nuts as a teenager.

(FYI: He did not appreciate my comparison analysis…)

That said, I was willing to take the chance, especially since I only had 1 drink, I wasn’t going out on the very dry deck between the lounge and my stateroom, and I don’t think I had any enemies on the ship.But how often do we do that??? When we’re faced with a situation that involves unknown outcomes and risk of some kind, our brain plays the absolute worst case scenario video in high definition, then puts it on repeat!

  • You’ll fail the certification exam
  • You’ll get fired
  • Nobody will like you and they’ll throw tomatoes at you when you enter the networking event
  • You’ll fall off the cruise ship.
Yes, we need to think about the risk, but so often we get all tied up in eventualities that are highly unlikely!  Next time you find yourself in a lather about the scary possibilities, ask yourself 2 questions.

  1. How likely is that bad thing to happen?
  2. What happens if the opposite happens and this goes spectacularly well?

That last one will help you gain a bit of perspective!Good luck, and don’t fall off the boat!

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