If things go well and you’re happy with the outcome, you don’t want to revisit anything.
If the outcome is poor, you turn detective. You want to breathe only after you find that piece of rotten luck or that turn of events outside your control that got you here.
Because you want to let yourself off the hook by making bad luck the culprit. Playing detective when the outcome’s bad helps you find a culprit and gets you out of blame jail.
This tendency comes out when you’re describing to others the fate of something you’ve worked on. All your successful projects have you in common. The not-so-successful ones are all riddled with rotten luck, and you make it a point to share deep context until your audience agrees with you: ‘I get it now! It wasn’t you, it was bad luck!’
But playing conditional detective harms you in the long run. For every outcome that materializes, there are many others that didn’t–some better, some worse. Would you not want to know how things could’ve been better? Or if luck got you to a good outcome, would it not help to work out how to cope with such a thing in the future?
A conditional detective is the same, case in, case out. A true detective improves with each case, no matter how it turns out.