Don’t be Guided by Polls in Your Own Life
Whether you voted for Donald Trump or Joe Biden in the Presidential election, you would likely agree that all the polls were wrong. They predicted a massive win for Biden. They predicted massive losses for Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate. Neither happened. They got it wrong.
The polls were wrong back in 2016, too. Only a few polls predicted Donald Trump’s election. You remember how shocked the television anchors looked, right?
Trump never let the polls dictate where he campaigned. Back in 2016, he wasn’t supposed to have a chance in Michigan or Wisconsin or Pennsylvania. But he went there anyhow, again and again. He believed voters would support him. He felt it in his gut. So, he acted on his intuition and, when appropriate, that of his top advisors.
See, polls aren’t really unbiased. The questions that are asked and the particular sample of the population who answer them (or don’t) determine quite a lot about the results.
You may not be running for office, but there are informal polls being conducted all the time about things you care about in your life. Maybe people at work get informally polled about whether the new venture will succeed, then someone tells you, “Most people think we’re barking up the wrong tree.” Maybe your friends tell you, “I just don’t think you have a chance with him; he’s still hung up on his ex-girlfriend.” Maybe a group of potential investors seem mostly to agree that another hotel just can’t make it in town. Maybe a focus group agrees.
As Albert Einstein said, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
You should never forget your gift. If you consider the data, and your heart still tells you something different, then listen to your heart.
Dr. Keith Ablow
This blog was adapted from Dr. Ablow’s book, TRUMP YOUR LIFE written with his co-author Christian Josi.