#2 – Swimmer’s Body Illusion

Whenever we confuse selection factors with results, we fall prey to what Mr. Rolf Dobelli calls – The swimmer’s body illusion.

Have you ever asked yourself this question – Does cosmetics make me more attractive? Then, you my friend have been devoured by this deceptively vile illusion.

Advertisement campaigns use this trick to lure us into buying their brands. First, a model who is already attractive and fair is the chosen. Then, she is darkened and made unattractive with makeup. For the sole purpose of the campaign, she is shown using the magic cream marketed by the brand and viola! the model is now fair AND lovely.

Even if we can see beyond this elaborate facade, we end up buying the product. And after swimming for 2 weeks in a pool made of the viscous cream, we are still the black swan or black dog that we always were. Not fair. Not at all lovely.My friend, the sour after taste of disappointment in your heart and the crater like hole in your wallet is the sweet sucker punch of the Swimmer’s illusion.

Another prominent swimmer’s body illusion is this  – Does an MBA from IIM-A make the average Janaki or Janardhanan smarter?

Really? Yes. I have heard real people ask me this very real question.

Well, It definitely makes Jana’s CV stand out. But smarter? maybe not. Unless he or she was born with the electric circuitry designed for such heavy duty voltage.

Getting an MBA from any top institute is not just a factor of higher IQ, but also of chutzpah and street smarts. You need to be a good communicator and a fast thinker on your feet. And these are just some of the many qualities that get you a group discussion and an interview.Getting in is different ball game altogether.

My best guess is that the brand ambassadors of IIM-A or any top institute are already super smart when they enter the hallowed portals of their esteemed institutes. These institutes often have a very tedious and rigorous set of hoops to jump before a candidate is admitted into their flock. For IIM-A, one of the many hoops is that the candidate must be a topper or in top 5 right from kinder-garden. It also helps that the freaks who get shortlisted are in the top 2 percentile of the CAT race.

Get it? 

Olympic Swimmers don’t get their spartan bodies by swimming. They were born with athletic, streamlined , size 14 footed freakish bodies to become Olympic swimmers.


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