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The Illusion Matrix


Is the dress blue & black or white & gold?

Sab Moh Maya Hai

The above sentense is a saying in Hindi. It means "Everything is an illusion". As humans we try to control every aspect of our lives. Whether it deciding when to go on a vacation or when to get married or when to have kids. We believe that we very much control our choices and are masters of our lives.

But the reality is different. We buy the large popcorn in the movie hall because we have been incentivised to do so by tricking our mind.

In fact, we have such minimal control of our decisions that even the guy designing the organ donation form can influence us to greater extent than we would believe.

Does that mean we have no control at all?

I don't think so. I still believe we have significant control with us. But to a much lesser than we imagine. So, why then, am I calling it the illusion of control? Because we loose sleep over things we cannot control, but think we do. In the course of our lives, we waste too many years worrying about things we have no control over. In a majority of such cases, it's best to let life take it's path and not worry about the outcome. We will probably live happier and less stressful lives than we do today.

In order to identify where we should put in effort, I have designed The Illusion Matrix.

The Illusion Matrix

We Control We Don't Control
Influences Us Focus Hope
Doesn't influence Us ? Ignore

Conclusions from The Illusion Matrix:

  • It's obvious to Focus on what we control and whose outcome directly influences us. For example, exercising for 30 minutes everyday will lead to healthy life.
  • On the other hand, it's best to Ignore what we don't control and doesn't influence us. Game of Thrones and soap operas fall in this category.
  • For outcomes that we don't control but that affect us, Hope for the best
  • The last box is the most interesting. It includes outcomes that we can control but which don't impact us. A lot of business ideas lie in this matrix. This box actually represents our resources, knowledge and network. When used this well, this box can be moved up to the Focus box.

Do you agree with my analysis? Which is your favorite box?

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