“What’s all this fuss about the Margarine Era?”

November 7, 2020

“What’s all this fuss about the Margarine Era?”

May 29, 2023

If Gilda Radner’s Emily Litella were still living, she might have uttered this question given all the finger pointing at pundits and pollsters this week who seemed to be hiding behind their “margin of error.” How much margin of error does your profession allow?

Heart surgeons and hair stylists, not so much. Comedians and CEOs, a little more wiggle room.

Yes, economists, political pundits and sports writers are notoriously bad at predicting the future. Yet, we seem to go back to them over and over again to consult their crystal ball. I’m reminded of something my second grade teacher said to me when my math answer wasn’t exactly right: “close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.” A harsh answer to a seven-year-old, right? Chalk it up to growing up during the Vietnam War.

So, Chip, what’s the message here? Live your life with a tiny margin of error and you’re likely to retreat to a fixed mindset, more focused on proving yourself and only playing games you can win. This path of retreat creates a narrow life, one not suited to a growth mindset in which you’re improving yourself and constantly learning.

Cut yourself some slack, learn some lessons, and step up your game with that new-found wisdom. Take these steps and you’ll be emulating writer Maxine Hong Kingston who wrote the book, “I Love a Broad Margin to My Life.” We all deserve to live our lives in the broad margins.

Down here in Baja, we’re not living the “Margarine Era.” We’re living the “Margarita Era” this weekend. Big hugs to all of you.

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