“I’m only rich because I know when I’m wrong … I basically have survived by recognizing my mistakes.” George Soros
People can say what they want about what they’ll do in a difficult situation. You can consider what people say, but in practice, you cannot depend on what they say.
As I mentioned in “Would you bet on yourself?”, the best predictor of future actions are past actions.
Therefore, you don’t rely solely on what people say but what they have done in the past. The current situation might be challenging but so was the past. If someone was able to pass yesterday’s test, chances are they will pass today’s test as well.
That is not to say, however, that you cannot change in the present despite your past. Indeed you can change as long as you are aware of past mistakes. Without this awareness, you would not know you need to improve, much less work on your improvement.
When you are face to face with a difficult situation, what would you do? This is a hypothetical question. Regardless of what people say, nobody knows for sure.
A better question would be: When you were face to face with a difficult situation, what did you do? Now the answer to that question would have more substance and meaning.
If the person was honest enough to tell you the unpleasant truth, which itself is a beneficial trait, you can follow up with another question: What would you like to change about that situation, and what is your plan to ensure you do it better the next time?
Listen for his or her sincerity. Determine whether the plan is doable in the real world.
Many of the rich want to leave the challenges of the real world behind and live in the lap of luxury.
The rich-rich race toward those challenges because they understand the real luxury in life isn’t being able to avoid problems but rather to face problems early while they are still manageable and overcome them with bravery and foresight.