Alternative paths are all the outcomes that could have happened but did not. When we reach somewhere with one path but there are different paths or possibilities which is invisible and that can happen. But did not happen. If any alternative paths have happened then it has a possibility that we might not reach a destination or ruin in a way or reach faster or reach slower.
There can be several permutations and combinations for the occurrence of any events. If one event out of those numbers of combinations happens then it does not mean that another event cannot happen.
Let’s try to explain the concept with an example of the “What If…?” series of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). We all know that how Mr. Tony Stark has become the Iron man in an MCU movie after he was kidnapped.
Its “What If” series has shown that, if Tony Stark was not kidnapped then he might not come out as Iron Man. We cannot be denied the occurrence of alternative events.
So does not the occurrence of one event has changed the entire story of Iron Man. Similar way, our life also has many alternatives to happen.
Investment – When we have gained through investment, we need to understand that there can be many alternative ways that have not happened. And that does not mean that we have not taken the risk.
Risk is not directly visible. Therefore, always consider what the alternative paths are. The success that comes about through risky dealings is, to a rational mind, of less worth than success achieved the ‘boring’ way. People only think about success but there can be different possibilities that need to focus on.
I know a few of my friends who bet on the company where the occurrence of some event can help the company to earn revenue (earlier no revenue). But what if the event does not happen? We must have to be ready for the occurrence of an unexpected event. Do we have any substantial margin of safety when the assumed event does not occur? Do we have at least winter soldier (chance to not lose much) if Tony does not come out as Iron Man?
When we make any assumption about investment, we also should prepare alternative events which can happen. There should be a scenario analysis while making any investment decision. (What If Tony Stark do not become Iron Man ?)
This entire series will be reviewed with various examples from books which are “Thinking, Fast and Slow” and “The Art of Thinking Clearly“.