Here’s The Thing

Here’s the thing. I’m fine with following the outline, keeping it between the lines, most of the time, in most situations and with most things. The fact of it is that I’m about ninety-eight percent okay with sticking to the outline. If I make a thousand choices and decisions, nine hundred and eighty times I conform. It’s the other twenty times, that little two percent that is the sticker for me, my fly in the ointment.

Well, I know. I like to tell myself that I only ignore the outline two percent of the time, but that may be a gross under-representation. I don’t know what the right percent is but am pretty sure that it’s more than two percent. Whatever that number is, it has provided ample opportunity to screw up, along with plenty of chances to beat the odds.

It works like this. When I decide not to stick with the outline, I’m taking a chance. My best chance for an adequate or acceptable outcome is when conforming, when sticking to the outline. Tossing aside the outline is risky. Sure, the possibility of a better outcome is there, but so is the possibility of getting a worse outcome, and maybe even the possibility of crashing. It’s definitely chancy.

There is another risk or downside to skipping the outline. If things work out, people are unlikely to think that I’m clever and certainly not brilliant. Instead, they most likely think I’m just lucky. Conversely, if things don’t work out, do they think I was just unlucky? Of course not. They just shake their heads and wonder how I could have been so stupid. If I decide not to follow the outline, the odds of an acceptable outcome go down and, depending on how it turns out, I’ll be seen as either just lucky or stupid.

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