Skip to content

Doris Day Effect

Category
Decision-Making
Doris Day Effect

Definition

The notion that a setback or obstacle on a given path provides an opportunity for another path that in turn becomes potentially much more fruitful.

Origin

Named for famed singer Doris Day who, while young was involved in an accident that shattered her leg and ended her path towards becoming a ballet dancer, took up singing lessons instead.

Everyday Use

So many of our paths look inevitable in hindsight — and we tell ourselves stories to match the lives we have built for ourselves. But it's helpful to acknowledge that some of the best paths started off as unknowns, and even when we look towards a future that we feel we are guiding ourselves towards, that the obstacles in our paths might serve us better than our own plans, so long as we are open to the possibility — even if only in hindsight.