Things we suck at

March 4, 2009

Humans suck at forecasting.

Yet, most of us try constantly to forecast circumstances and the behaviour of others. 

Billions of dollars are spent yearly on forcasting the weather and stock market behaviour.  Yet we are always taken by surprise when a sudden change happens and few expected it.

Why?  Because by and large, we suck at forecasting.

In addiction and alcoholism, we talk a lot about expectations to me is just a garden variety forecast.  Since big business and big science with all their money, computers and equipment suck at forecasting weather and stock markets, how is it that we as individuals feel that we can meaningfully set expectations on outcomes of events and behaviours of people around us?  We are continually inaccurate yet continually do it and feel hurt and disappointed when things don’t turn out as expected.

After over 40 years on this planet, I have come to the conclusion that we simply cannot and are not likely to anytime soon.

So what can we do instead? How about just doing our best to be aware that there is a scope of what may happenrather than set narrow, pinpoint expectations?  Then be ready with a bucket-load of acceptance to use to deal with whatever actually arives to us.

I have used this alternative in my recovery and  in virtually every area of my life including but not limited to business, relationships, health and fitness, and even housework.

The result is that I get more done with less stress than at any other time in my life.  Yet somehow, I have not fully shut of my forecast mechanism yet, and I still intuitively set expectations from time to time.

Thank God recovery is about progress not perfection.






  1. That progress is based on the pursuit of perfection. AA says we’re not saints, but we are. You have to know that being of flesh and blood we’ll never be perfect, but if you want to get Biblical, it’s the pursuit of truth that sets of free & separates us from those who are stagnant in life.

    A saint in the formal sense? No. A saint in your walk & intentions- in your selflessness? Yes.

  2. Wade…. I think AA gets away from the Saint pursuit to give people a break from the imposed expectation to arrive at perfect.

    I agree that we cannot use ‘progress rather than perfection’ reasoning to become stagnant. We have to strive toward something. Perfection is a great target if we keep it in healthy timelines and dont beat ourselves up for not getting there at warp speed.

  3. Yeah, I understand the intent of the statement and know that people need that sort of sentiment when trying to make such a change in their life.

    I didn’t mean to suggest otherwise. The program has worked for so many people and I see the affect it’s had on people in the meetings I attend. I’m not lobbying for any changes 🙂

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