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I love to start my posts remembering that life is not easy. And, I know clearly, it is not easy for anyone.

Life is not easy

Thus, I spent 17 years sitting in a psychology practice, attending between 20 and 35 hours a week, which means more or less 20 to 35 patients. I worked in clinics with group therapies, gave an infinite number of lectures, seminars, and courses.

I taught for 5 years in the psychology course. I can say almost categorically that: life is not easy for anyone. Rich and poor, noble, and commoners have a range of choices to make throughout life, the cycle lived, the year, the month, the week, the day, and its hours and minutes.

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Our choices

We live according to the decisions or choices made. And choices and decisions will have consequences. Thus, the more knowledge, the more experience and, just as importantly, the more capacity to analyze the situation, the better the choices will be made.

My mother (who always reads my blog over a cup of tea and helps me find typos and concordance failures), a very spiritual lady, loves to say, given my statement: “all of this is right, but when the spinners of the destination do not want, experience and knowledge help to choose, but not to develop the fruit of the choice. They do the drought and the rain ”.

My mother believes in destiny as something decisive, imperative and inexorable.

I don’t.


But, in this very spiritual statement, my mother decides the situation in three different stages in a very didactic way:

1st Choice or decision making – self explanatory, but the moment when the path to be followed is decided;

2nd The development of this process – the journey along the chosen path;

3rd The conclusion of the process – literally, arrived at the destination.

With this simple and obvious structure, we can start the discussion.

The variables and the destination

When we think of a destination that interferes with the process, we see it happening in steps 2 and 3. That is, in the steps where necessary, we have less control over all unknown variables involved in the process.

When we make a choice, we have very few unknown variables. Therefore, the feeling of control over the process is enormous. We were able, depending on personal obsession, to put all these variables in a table and quantify each hierarchically.

For example, when we decided to start planting any: seed cost, planted area, irrigation, soil quality, fertilizer, labor, etc.

The quantification

This sense of control given by the knowledge of most of the possible variables excludes destiny with a power holder over the process. At most we include in the process that intuition, that inner voice that, academically, we call implicit knowledge. Finally, knowledge that is not easily accessed consciously.

But even with intuition acting as one of the tools for decision making, the unknown variables are few (or at least, less than in the other stages), so we have a greater sense of control. We have less space to assign responsibility to the destiny that God wanted or the gods wanted.

The unknown variables

When we think about the 2nd stage, we think about a more complex process than a simple decision making. Complex in number of known and unknown variables, but also more complex in terms of time.

In general, we have spent hours developing for years what was planned in the 1st stage. Sometimes, we spend a lifetime building, developing something until we’re ready to say that the goal has been achieved.

The first issue here is that the number of unknown variables is exactly equal to infinity and our planning capacity is not. See the simple example of planting:

If you happen to live in Switzerland, Italy, France or some country in the northern hemisphere, in 2020, when you decided what you would plant and prepared for it (at the end of winter), you could hardly tell with a global pandemic of a killer virus (at the early spring and planting time), which would lockdown working labor, dismantle logistical distribution processes and drive consumers away from their purchases.

Not even the most organized governments could predict the consequences of all this with more than 15 days. But, it could be an asteroid, it could be a hemorrhoid crisis, it could be an allergy to the sun. It could be a lot of rain, a lot of droughts, locusts, a lack of bees. It could even be an infinite number of unknown and therefore unexpected variables.

This unexpectedness of unknown variables is what we call fate. Against or in favor of them, we can take counter-decisions that help to maximize the effects (if they are positive variables in the process) or minimize the effects (if they are negative variables in the process). These contingencies require contingency responses in order for their consequences to be maximized or minimized.

So, faced with the actions of “destiny”, the unknown variables, we can still, making micro-decisions, make transforming micro-choices throughout the process. This is called “problem solving” or “creativity”.

Creativity, when applied in the 1st stage, generates innovation. When creativity is applied in the 2nd stage, it generates solutions to the problems brought about by the unknown variables. In this respect, the more flexibility in the process the better.

Creativity implies freedom of regulation and rules because it is necessary to create something different from the existing one in order to deal with the new contingencies, with the new rules brought about by the unknown variables.

And, here, we have an important lesson: When we make a decision, we create a chain of decisions (behaviors) to be taken in the face of time and the events triggered by our actions and decisions. When this chain of events and decisions is broken by one (or several) unknown variable, that unknown variable applies new rules to the process.

So, ultimately, there is a conflict between the rules that we apply for the process to develop and the rules applied by the unknown variables brought by reality. The ability to change the planned and applied rules will be equal to the potential of creativity to seek solutions in the face of unknown variables.

Let’s take a break here.

It is necessary to make a small note: It is possible that, the more knowledge, experience and planning, the less unknown variables will be found along the development path.

That is, the more we plan, the more unknown variables we transform into known variables, so even in the 2nd step, we can have a very reasonable and hierarchical control factor over the process. We cannot do this to infinity, but we can reduce the margin of error to very favorable numbers.

But, we will continue to provoke my mother and continue to deny fate.

The feeling of lack of control over the process of arriving at unknown variables and their consequences gives us the feeling of lack of control over future events. The more life goes on, the more we learn that unknown variables are going to happen whether we like it or not, so the more we live the more we tend to believe in the forces of destiny that operate on life. And that, we can call acceptance in the face of life.

But, being quite trendy, after all, creativity is the subject of fashion, especially in the business world, the more prior planning and the more creativity, the more ability to deal with unknown variables, or with fate.

My mother would say that “spinners like those who prove their worth”,

yes, in my mother’s fantastic-cosmic reading, the answer to the unknown variables is the same: perseverance and the ability to transform are the key to dealing with contingencies.

Raul de Freitas Buchi