There are fundamental game rules that apply to life. Perhaps that is where we learn them.
Play it as it lies
A fundamental rule in golf. It is not always to your advantage. Sometimes the ball ends up in a divot. Play it as it lies. Every outcome has a little luck mixed with the skill. In a similar way, not every poker hand wins. If you notice, second best poker hands are very expensive. Poor hands cost near nothing. Oppressive, right?
Life is like that too. If we notice. Play what you have well.
How people manipulate us
Three kinds of people are easy to manipulate with promises. These are the pure examples, but each of us has some element of them within us. That will never be a problem if we admit it.
Steven Pressfield recently pointed out the three mindsets. Politics and the Professional Mindset
The amateur, the infant and the addict. Once you cede control of your outcomes to another, you can suffer manipulation.
“The amateur, the infant, and the addict operate out of the identical mindset. Each looks to others—specifically others perceived to be more powerful or capable—to supply their needs or solve their problems without pain, effort, or risk.”
Promises are inexpensive so politicians use this methodology everywhere and throughout time.
Playing life as it lies requires courage
It is seldom easy to be successful. Many look at successful people and attribute it to giftedness, or luck, rather than the work that they fail to notice. If you practice for four or five hours a day, you can get good at almost anything in three or four years.
Bill Gates was writing programs and creating businesses before he was in the 10th grade. They were not especially valuable properties, but the lessons found in the doing carried into Microsoft.
It is difficult to find success arising from a first effort. Life does not work like that.
No one can buy you a “flop shot” or the ability to create a symphony
Not parents and especially not politicians. People pay their dues and learn the nuance. Hundreds of hours, more likely thousands, spent on focused practice. A little instruction and encouragement is allowed. Life is a do it yourself project.
Success is not a gift.
Success is the result of several factors:
- Exposure to opportunity with the attendant exposure to failure
- Defined purpose
- Objectivity about outcomes. You cannot be right all the time. Excuses add nothing – subtract instead. Value mistakes. Win or learn.
- Self reliance. Count on other people only for their observable experience. Be sure you are objective about it. Understand the background to their outcome. That is really what education is about. The history of both failure and success.
- Pay for the help you need.
- Just do it. Many ideas, projects and products never come to market because people stop too soon. Finishing is harder than starting. Quitting on the two-yard-line is common. Success has an integer like property. 90% done and 0% done are often about the same.
Life seldom returns more value than the value of the inputs
Build the value of your inputs. Learn attitude. Discover communication skills. Learn to lead. Respect others who are trying. Be prepared to give to get. Use all of your resources – time, ability, curiousity, and experience.
Don’t waste your time on the promises of others. Avoid the helpers who don’t really help.
It is an old thought
If it is to be, it’s up to me.
Don Shaughnessy arranges life insurance for people who understand the value of a life insured estate. He can be reached at The Protectors Group, a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency in Peterborough, Ontario. In previous careers, he has been a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business.
Please be in touch if I can help you. firstname.lastname@example.org 866-285-7772