‘The Partial Control Fallacy’

Josh Koppel, on his blog Path-Sensitive:

This, I dub the Partial Control Fallacy. It’s where, if there’s some outcome you want, and you only control a couple factors that affect that outcome, you decide how much to try to improve those factors as if you were actually improving the entire outcome. It’s closely connected to the 80/20 principle: it’s when you only have control over that last 20%, but you pretend it’s the whole thing and work on it accordingly. It’s when the 80/20 principle would suggest doing nothing at all.

It’s very tempting to do “whatever you can” to control the outcome of some process where you have very little control. I’ve certainly been guilty of this!

Losing this mindset has been huge for my personal happiness and professional success.