Thursday, September 8, 2011

ROL: Context Matters.

ROL (Return on Life) is a self designated qualitative measure based on the quantitative metric, ROI (Return on Investment). ROI is maximized when small investments provide whopping returns. ROL is maximized when small incremental lifestyle changes provide exceptional enhancement in one's QOL (Quality of Life). This week's ROL is about delaying final evaluation until actions are reviewed in context.


Are You Ready?
Tonight starts the NFL 2011 Championship Season. Despite the fact that pro football adds no value to society I am a huge fan. I love the game.  Not so much the talking heads. Even less the useless statistics the talking heads spew whenever there is 2 seconds of stillness. For example:

  • The (beloved) Bears are 46-3 the last decade when they have 40 or more rushing (running) attempts per game. The inference is when the Bears run, they win. In context please understand that in the 2010 season the most yards gained per pass attempt average (San Diego) was 8.7. The most yards gained per run attempt (Philadelphia) was 5.4. Additionally running plays take longer than passing plays. In short, teams pass when they are behind and run to protect a lead. You don't win because you run, you run more when you are winning.
  • Time of possession early in games. This Sunday the (beloved) Bears are playing Atlanta. Atlanta starts with 12 plays and kicks a field goal to end their1st drive. The Bears run 3 plays and punt back to Atlanta. Atlanta has 14 plays, misses a field goal and the 1st quarter ends Atlanta up 3-0. Immediately a statistic pops up showing Atlanta has a 12:00 minute advantage in time of possession. All true, but Atlanta leads by a mere 3 and the Bears have only had the ball once. Given context the stat is meaningless.
I Will Never Be Ready For This.
I will follow up the above constructed, albeit true to NFL examples with a real life example. If you don't notice the thick line in the middle of my progressive bifocals you wouldn't know I have poor depth perception and poor peripheral vision. Unless I told you, you wouldn't know I am under treatment for anxiety. These two facts converge when I have to back my car 100 feet in an alley with two feet of clearance on each side. I sweat profusely. I will do anything to avoid backing my car more than 5 feet. As a casual observer you might think I'm chicken or maybe even chickens*#t. In context, my reticence to put the car in reverse make sense.

Hold Your Horses, Bucko!
Next time you see something that doesn't compute hold on a second before uttering the last word of "What the ?" See if you are able to see the situation in context. Maybe even consider exchanging "What the ?" for "Can I Help?"

Do you have other examples of context lending perspective? Or do you see things in a more "black and white" manner?

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