“I think your family wants ice cream. Also, I don´t think you can just KEEP moving your pieces on the chess board.”

I pause; I mean… why do I even need to say anything?

“This is a game of rules and strategies; it´s about you and the competitor; but, when the game is over, shake hands.”

I pause; it´s like the biscotti situation… he just keeps taking without consideration for what is his and for my feelings.

“You hurt my feelings”, I reply to the writer as I look at the photos of his surf safari, “I mean… yeah… you got in the water… I see here that you attempted to catch a wave… that´ll be good for the press… but, I mean, seriously… what´s up with the oversized wetsuit?”

He turns his head to the window and looks at the beach; then, turns his head back to me.

“I just couldn´t”, he says as he lowers his head, “I couldn´t go with the wetsuit that was one size too small and super awkward for everyone.”

I chuckle; that was going to be hilarious!

“Well”, I reply as I set the photos down on the table, “you have made a bigger situation for all of us now–what´s up with the oversized wetsuit?  You surfing or auditioning for the waterpark´s sealife show? It looks like you were heading to a bar to pick up a humpback whale?”

“That´s not funny.”

“Yeah”, I reply as I pick up my taza, “I don´t always make jokes–you´ll know when there´s jest.”

“So”, he replies as he picks up his coffee, “what do you propose that we do?”

“Nothing.”

“You don´t want me to do anything?”, he replies as he takes a sip.

“Discretion is relient on what your opponent, in a friendly sense, does.  Rather then just haphazardly moving your pieces, like a chess game, or rushing with all your force, consider what your opponent wants to do–if you know your opponent, you know how to win.  If your challenger telegraphs their next move, it is relatively simple to side step it; case in point–if a bull rushes you, avoid it.”

“Huh?”, the writer asks as he sets his coffee down, “but won´t I miss an opportunity?”

“You´ld be piting your weakness against their strength–the smart matador knows that the charging bull tires fast, while the bullfighter conserves his energy; he keeps his resources as he considers what his opponent is thinking; if you know what is going to happen, you can determine the course of action that minimizes your effort, but leads to the greatest, or best, outcome.  For example, if you know that the animal is going to charge at your cape, don´t put it on your neck like you´re a superhero; wave it away from you; put some distance between your vulnerability and your opponent´s weapon; the horns, in this example.”

“So I want to avoid the horns?”

“I think that would be obvious?”

“Instead what should I do?”

“Is there a time limit on the match? In chess, there may be. In other sports, there´s periods or quarters; consider both what your oppponent wants to do, but also the circumstances and the environment.  You may not want to take the action that has the largest upside, but instead, wait–pause or delay your action until it´s time.  There´s not necessarily a certain way to say that–sometimes, you don´t want to win–but instead just get by until the circumstance or environment are more conducive to your action, your opportunity to succeed, and your moment.  Then, develop a sense of autonomy that you are not dependent on someone–constantly rescuing the same victim means others don´t get attention–rescue fatigue–instead, beyond the hero and victim is the artist.”

I pause; this is not my greatest soliliquoy…. but maybe it will buy me some time to figure out what to do and what everyone else is doing?

“Awareness of what´s going on and seeing things clearly–will enable you to take a more appropriate action; being aggressive always turns into a liability; pushing your entire hand leaves you vulnerable with nothing else to stand on.”

I pause; I take a sip of coffee.

“There´s two strategies upon which you can live your life–outside of the chaotic, do whatever the fuck I want approach–which will certainly enrage everyone–there´s two philosophies for life–

The prescriptive approach–

See what the norm is and use it like a checklist upon which you measure your success.  How much money do you have in the bank? Do you have 2.5 children? Is your house over 15k square feet with a 2 spacejet garage? Do you work 5 days a week? Do you have a job where you have 10 days of vacation a year?  Like a doctor would give a prescription to treat an illness, so this way you look at yourself and measure what you have against what is the norm–as you approach, the status quo then you feel a sense of peace.  Clearly, it is a viable option as so many people live that way.

The performance approach–

On a scale of 1-10, how happy are you?  On the same scale, how great do you think your life partner, your family and your friends are? How´s your job? Using the scale of 1-10, how do you rate your life?  Look at the areas that have lower ratings–address those; your job is ok but the dog is constantly sick–so take your dog to the vet to get checked out and, from a performance approach, your life satisfaction, internal, should increase, right?  You don´t need 2.5 children in this approach to be happy–just look at the different areas of your life, that you live, and where are the ratings low?  That is a very direct approach to happiness, and something that you can do on your own.”

“So what are you saying?”

“I am very unsatisfied with your oversized wetsuit bullshit, so I want you to go back to the beach–on annoying others factor, I want to hang a 10 there.  I need you to go back and annoy everyone with how happy you are, ok?”

Jamie Smith
therenegadeinc@gmail.com

It's all about the story, man.



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