During the course of my life I’ve had my share of ups and downs, and still do, but I accept that most things that happen to me are the results of my own actions, or inaction. I’m the first person to say never place yourself into a “victim mentality” – the mindset that dictates when bad things happen to you, it’s someone else’s fault. A state of mind that keeps you weak and feeling helpless.
In other words, dis-empowered.
Sometimes though, there are “forces” against us. “Gatekeepers” that block us from what we’re striving for. These gatekeepers are the most common form of bully you’ll come across. In fact, they’re everywhere! At our jobs, in our school system, in law enforcement, working in government buildings, and even at the local Walmart.
Who is this mysterious "oppressor" that is right in front of your face? That oppressor is MIDDLE MANAGEMENT. It’s their job to protect the power structure above them by ensuring those below them are kept in-line, so to speak.
Perhaps you’re one of these gatekeepers yourself? Especially if you hold the title of Supervisor or Manager or Director. Your obligation (if you want to keep your job) is to make sure the company (the power structure) maintains its upstanding appearance while pacifying dissatisfied customers and/or clients.
Also involved with position of middle management is ensuring that employees below you are doing their job – which is to provide the products or services the company offers and do it in a way the customer will find pleasing. Today they call it a ‘Customer Experience’.
It's middle management’s position to shield upper management and the ownership from harmful arrows that may be shot at them. This includes protecting them from legal liability and ramifications, to shutting down any attempts that will waste upper management’s time.
It’s middle management that milks the car buyer for extra dollars. It's middle managements that will prevent a “nobody” from speaking directly to their bosses and/or owner. It’s middle management that will deny loans, refuse service, shoot down ideas and halt progress if they deem it necessary to protect the power structure they work within.
This is their place in The Game and most people who get into these positions will defend them. This means that, if necessary, they will oppress the common person to appease those higher up the pyramid than themselves.
We are directly held down by middle management.
While most people point a finger at the powerful, they’ll probably never encounter them. The people they do encounter make up layers and layers of middle management. And the reality is, upper management is usually more patient, more understanding and more willing to help than middle management is. They have more power partially because they have fewer people to answer to (among other reasons).
As a Player, we’re well aware of this and don’t take it personally. Despite how negative it may sound, there’s no other way for an organization (power structure) to function. There HAS TO BE those on top, those in the middle and those on bottom. The concept of everyone sharing equal power sounds good, but that’s like having a car full of people and everyone is in the passenger seat. No one wants to drive so the car is not going to make it anywhere. Why? Because no one is leading – no one has a set destination.
On the opposite side of that coin – if EVERYONE wants to lead, the car still won’t get anywhere if there’s disagreement about the destination. Such is The Game.
The next time you’re up against middle management and they can’t provide a satisfactory solution, you’ll have to push the UP-BUTTON and go over them or around them. Be a Player and don’t hate The Game – learn to understand it and work through it.
Consider yourself laced. Until next time.
Who likes to lose? Nobody, right? But you can’t win all the time, that’s just not being realistic. There’s a saying in The Game, “Human beings don’t like to lose, but they won’t do what it takes to win.”
When I was younger, like most young people, I never wanted to look like I couldn’t do something. When someone said I couldn’t, I would try anyway. I wanted to prove I could but the results were usually disastrous as you can imagine. Going in with no knowledge about what I was doing and backed with only the intention to look impressive usually didn’t work out well. Now that I think back, I can only recall a handful of times it worked out.
What I’ve found throughout my years with speaking to people from all walks of life are that human begins really DO NOT like to lose. People who don’t even try to win, still hate to know they’ll lose. It’s a strange irony because some people get stuck in their comfort zones. They’ll run scared before they try something new – even it is may benefit them in the long run. It’s called a comfort zone for a reason.
Winning is great. It’s where the accolades are, the recognition, the congratulations, the positive results and the “crown” we wear called success. Who doesn’t want that? But winning is the finish line, what about the rest of the race?
Let’s be honest, most people never set themselves up for the BIG WIN. In fact, most people mentally defeat themselves before they even start. As soon as 1 thing goes wrong, that’s it! They get discouraged and throw in the towel. They immediately give up and go in another direction. There’s no nice way to say this, so I’ll just keep it real – this behavior is a sign of a mental weakness. This shows a mind that will never achieve a BIG WIN because it can’t focus long enough to see positive results.
All things happen in and through time. Time is the leveler of ALL playing fields. You can be rich or poor; healthy or unhealthy; successful or not; but everyone on the planet only has 24-hours in a day.
When people don’t see immediate results, they back off. Usually they back-off completely. That’s almost like driving from your house, to your friend’s house, but you suddenly stop and go back home just because there's a couple slow moving cars ahead of you. That’s sound ridiculous, right? Well it should sound silly, because it is. There’s supposed to be other cars on the road, just like there’s supposed to be adversity when attempting anything new. You can move around certain obstacles in your way as long as you follow the “rules of the road”. And certain obstacles will move out of your way on their own.
Confidence is key in whatever you do. But confidence comes with experiencing SMALL WINS. When you get a SMALL WIN, this will usually propel you to keep trying – to do something again for a bigger result. The issue is, most people never stay motivated long enough to get a small win. Or they get 1 or 2 but dismiss them because they weren’t the BIG WIN. They look for fireworks and blowing trumpets to let them (and everyone they’re trying to impress) know they’ve made it. But with enough SMALL WINS, they would eventually get to the BIG WIN.
Any forms of advancement, growth, improvement or success are all PROCESSES – a course marked by gradual changes. They don’t happen overnight. You can’t take a wand and magically materialize your ideal situation into existence. Every process involves TIME. If you can’t stay focused for a long period of time then you’ll never make it to the BIG WIN. And our “training ground” to garner any sized win is making the best use of your time EVERYDAY. You have to step up to the plate, EVERYDAY.
Not try to see what happens, not test the waters, but making the same decision everyday until you see a result – a SMALL WIN. Then you keep going and learning and adjusting until you finally arrive at the BIG WIN.
This sounds so simple because it is.
This requires focus, mental fortitude and a degree of emotional control. Fear, doubt and worry cannot be allowed to take hold of you. When they do, you’ll give up.
Consider the athlete that trains almost everyday with a definite focus for improvement. How about the singer, the author or musician who hones their craft by using it daily? Every small improvement is a SMALL WIN. There is something to be said for natural talent, but natural talent not used will only yield mediocre results.
Everything you do, or plan to do, is a PROCESS. It will take time, commitment, dedication and sacrifice. And while you keep that in mind and move forward, you set a very powerful force in motion. A force that allows almost anyone to accomplish almost anything. And this Dominating Force is available to everyone. The first step to activating this force is decided on EXACTLY what you want. The next step is identifying obstacles in your way. These can come from within you (fear, doubt or worry) or outside of you. Once your decision is made, keep going until you start seeing results – SMALL WINS.
Allow yourself to go through the process. Whatever process that is for you – nobody else, just you. Then one day you’ll finally arrive at that BIG WIN. This is Real Game, consider yourself laced.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The first, Gentleman’s Game Class, of 2017 is this weekend so there will be no blog post next week. THE BLOG WILL RETURN, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15th, 2017. Until then, keep it moving! See you in a couple weeks.
There’s a difference between information and knowledge. This was personally something I had confusion about for many years. It caused me to waste a lot of time.
In The Game we have a saying: Knowledge, Wisdom and Understanding. It breaks down like this:
(1) Knowledge: The learning phase;
(2) Wisdom: Learning how and when to use the knowledge you’ve acquired;
(3) Understanding: The “marriage” of knowledge and wisdom – complete insight.
Because you truly understand something means you can be looked at as an expert. This of course doesn’t mean you know every facet about something, but you could be considered an authority in that particular area you thoroughly understand.
A big problem is that some people get INFORMATION and KNOWLEDGE confused. If you’re not gaining knowledge, then you’re not really learning something. If you’re not learning something, then you may never acquire wisdom about it and reach a full understanding. So to simplify it – which I always like to do – let’s look at the dictionary to define these 2 words.
(1) knowledge communicated or received concerning a particular fact or circumstance; news.
(2) knowledge gained through study, communication, research, instruction, etc.; factual data.
(3) the act or fact of informing.
(1) acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation; general erudition.
(2) familiarity or conversance, as with a particular subject or branch of learning.
(3) acquaintance or familiarity gained by sight, experience, or report.
(4) the fact or state of knowing; the perception of fact or truth; clear and certain mental apprehension.
That’s a mouth-full I know. But as we go through these definitions we see some differences. Information is primarily data and facts. Knowledge can also be facts but, it also involves study, investigation, learning, experience, familiarity, and awareness. Getting information can lead to knowledge, but alone it’s just being informed about something. Stay with me.
EXAMPLE: Information would be getting the temperature for the day; the fact that there was an accident on the interstate near you; someone telling you that there’s a sale at your favorite store. Information is good, but there is little learning or study involved as there is with acquiring knowledge.
So, it’s good to discover that your car not starting could possibly be the cause of your battery or alternator (or a few more things), but if you don’t KNOW what those are and how to check them, then you’re stuck. You would have to seek out someone who KNOWS and UNDERSTANDS more than you. You have information but no practical application of that information. You have facts but are unable to apply them to investigate or solve the problem.
If you took the time to learn how the battery and alternator work together in your vehicle, then you would have acquired knowledge; something tangible that you could use.
I’m not sure about you, but when I was in high school learning algebra, a common complaint among us students was, “When are we ever going to use this in real life?”
Granted, this was because we were lazy. However, there’s some validity behind that statement. Although you acquired information (facts) AND knowledge (learning the application of the information), once you know longer use it, you lose it. Unless your career or business path involves mathematics, would you use algebra? Do you even remember the more complicated formulas? Has your child ever come home and asked you for help with their algebra homework and you sat there looking crazy as you tried to recall the information?
You may have learned and gained KNOWLEDGE about algebra at 1 point in your life, but since you stopped using it then you didn’t proceed to gain WISDOM in it. You don’t know how and when to apply algebra equations, so you really don’t UNDERSTAND algebra.
What does all this mean? Glad you asked.
I used to read – a lot. And although I had a lot of information, very little of that was knowledge. I could quote things, recite facts and regurgitate other’s ideas, but if you asked me how to USE that information for my benefit, most of the time I couldn’t.
I would read an entire book on real estate investing. I gathered a lot of information and a little knowledge, but since I never applied that knowledge, then I didn’t really learn anything. It was just facts and statistics floating around in my head. I sounded smart, but I had no WISDOM – I didn’t know HOW or WHEN to apply that knowledge. Therefore I could never claim to completely UNDERSTAND it.
I’ve said this before: knowledge is not enough! The best way to really learn something is to USE it. Then as you make your errors and mistakes you grow wise. You know how to use it and when. After that point, you start to really understand it.
Game is a great thing. It’s all information and knowledge but if you never use it, then you’ll never actually learn it. You end up cutting yourself off from wisdom and understanding. If don’t understand what you’re doing then you could be doing more harm to yourself than good. Peep Game.
Stay in motion...
I hear this pretty often, “I try to think positive and be optimistic, but things still don’t go right!”
I understand the frustration. Things aren’t always sweet. They’re not always red roses and champagne dreams. Life can seem so unfair sometimes. Or is it?
For many of us, when we compare our lives to others we feel as though we’re lacking in a few areas; or maybe even a lot of areas. You may feel like they’re swimming in cash, or better educated, have gotten further, and even seem to have “the golden touch” – everything just seems to fall in their lap.
From the outside looking in, things may appear great and you wonder why you’re just not getting the results you long for.
Here’s the truth: No one has all the cards stacked in their favor. We ALL have problems that must be overcome; whether they’re financial, emotional or physical.
Don’t be shaken up by outside appearances. If you want to be more successful in any endeavor, then you have to understand what exactly fuels success. Sounds simple, but many people skip this step entirely. They learn WHAT to do – but don’t prepare themselves with the proper mindset to actually being able to do it.
If you truly want something, you have to BECOME the person that’s worthy to have it. You can play the “victim” and wonder why things are falling apart around you, or you can take the time to figure out what’s actually creating those heavy moments of dissatisfaction.
When I was younger, I was into martial arts; karate in particular. I got inspired by the many martial arts movies I watched growing up and I though knowing how to do some of those moves would be the coolest thing.
My Shihan (karate teacher) was always very adamant about learning not just how to kick, throw and punch someone in their chest; he also wanted us to understand why it’s important NOT to fight. Just because you have the power, you also have to possess the wisdom to discern when it’s necessary to use.
This was strange to my young mind. Here I am learning to kick ass but, I was being told that these things are best used only for defense. It was called, “The Warrior’s Ethical Code”.
You’re learning to “destroy” but you also had to learn to “build” and “heal”.
When you look at your life (or anyone else’s life for that matter) we ALL have something to offer. Some people know what that is. Others don’t.
Some people can “destroy”, but they never learn how to “build”. The wise man or woman knows how to do BOTH. They accept that they have enough.
Enough to share; enough to serve; enough to help; enough to teach; enough to jump over (or crawl under or go around) any hurdle that comes into their path.
It all comes down to your Perspective. Are you only the destroyer or the builder? Or can you become what’s necessary to complete what the task requires? Can you leap gracefully over that hurdle? Or find another way around it?
Do you think you’re enough?
If you do, then you’ll try to see opportunity within every problem. Why? Because you’ll change your Perspective and try to look for it. Focused effort always pays off – lack of effort never does.
“Thinking positive” is more than just being optimistic. It’s changing the way you look at problems. And everyone has problems. This is life after all. We’re all human and no one is immune. It’s the way we look at them that gives these scary shadows their form. Do you see a monster or helper?
Consider this. You have the power to think whatever you want to think. We can all look up at the sky and say it’s blue. But what if someone says it’s not? Our natural reaction is to look at this person as if they’re “crazy”. The sky is blue obviously by its appearance. But what did we learn in science class? The sky isn’t actually blue. And someone made an EFFORT to go past the outer appearance and figure out what was really going on. They thought differently instead of going along with the status quo.
They saw the hurdle and though to themselves, “Just because everyone else is jumping over them, do I have to?”
So here’s a Perspective that some people don’t like to hear, but hopefully it will help some of you release those gnawing feelings of frustration and disappointment.
Failure IS the road to success. As long as you LEARN from your failures!
There is not 1 successful person on this planet that did not fail repeatedly until they arrived at the mountain top of victory.
Every set-back is an opportunity to learn how NOT to do something. This means that eventually you’ll learn exactly how to do it right; or better. Failure is actually [drum-roll] a GOOD thing!
Are you enough? Yes you are. You always have been. You just have been taught to not look at yourself that way. We have all been taught to look at what we lack, instead of what we already have. And what we already have was acquired by doing something right. In order to do something right, you usually had to do it wrong at some point.
As you go through this process, you learn how to both “destroy” and “build”. You go from knowledge, to wisdom and eventually reach an understanding. When you see that next hurdle coming, don’t slow down, figure out a way to move past it. If that doesn’t quite work, that’s alright, because if you pick yourself up, you can keep trying again until you get it right.
Consider yourself laced. Until next time…
(This post was inspired by a dear friend)
A Player’s life is very different than the average person. This largely stems from our Perspective on life and its many problems. While some people are quite content with talking about the latest drama going on in reality television and social media; or drama going on in their lives – a Player is very focused on a few key areas:
(1) Their inner growth (aka self-empowerment)
(2) Their outer growth (aka Advancement)
Like any individual striving for success, a Player understands that what you do today influences where you’ll be tomorrow. We look to our old friends cause and effect. So a Player wastes less time and strives to make more productive use of our time.
Because of this thinking, gaps are created (sometimes valleys or canyons) on the social level. It’s not that Players aren’t social – we just don’t spend a lot of time putting mental energy into unproductive areas. The average person does however, and this is where the “disconnection” starts with other people.
The result of our approach towards life leaves the average Player standing by themselves. We can be in a crowd full of people but still feel “alone”. We can’t fully relate to the average person because the average person can’t relate back.
It’s not that Players are selfish, egotistical or arrogant; it’s just trying to explain how and why we aren’t “normal” is like trying to explain calculus to a 5th grader (ohhh… that sounded a little arrogant, didn’t it? My bad).
Most Players pull themselves away from “normal society” not out of fear, low self-esteem or because we can’t cope, we just don't desire to “fit-in”.
This pulling back phase leaves a lot of Players feeling rather lonely sometimes. Since human beings have a basic need to be heard, when there’s no one that can REALLY hear you (and understand you), it’s like being a speck of pepper in a world full of salt. To the salt, the pepper is out of place.
As a Player, how do you deal with these occasional bouts of loneliness and isolation? How does a Gentleman or Lady sit on their proverbial throne in an empty castle? Here are a few tips to get you started:
(1) Fully accept who and what you are. This sounds basic but this is actually very deep. See, you have to accept that you ARE different. You have to accept that you must CREATE your lifestyle. Unlike the square (average person), you’re not reactive – you’re proactive. Squares wait – Players create.
Being a Player feels lonely because almost everything you do pulls you further and further away from being average and normal. This above average space is actually quite empty. Therefore, you have to accept that you must release yourself of the need to be heard.
You have to talk and be willing to be the only person that can hear you. At the same time you must be improving yourself and honing your skills.
(2) Remember where you fit into the natural order of things. Square consume – Players Produce. Both these functions are necessary. Everything in nature is playing 1 of those roles, or both at the same time.
While the square world revolves around trying to “get” and “have”, your primary concern should be to “become”.
Let me explain.
You must become the person who can hold and maintain what you want – mentally, emotionally, physically and “spiritually”. You must be strong and grounded in ALL these areas.
An individual’s mind can only think as far as it can think. When your primary focus is just going to go “get it”, you probably will get it. But, once you get it can you also keep it and maintain it?
Remember to decide on what you want to enhance your lifestyle first, then make plans to get it. Create your lifestyle; from the bottom to the top. Look at the details. What do YOU really like and want to have around you?
If you can sincerely answer that, then you’ll have an idea of the man or woman you must BECOME to create and maintain the lifestyle you choose.
(3) You cannot define yourself as a Player without there being squares. How can you define heat without there being cold? How can you define happiness without there being sadness? Simply, you can’t.
There are 2-sides to every coin. A coin cannot exist without 2-sides and a center. Players are the natural opposite of a square. However, we all start out as squares. Players just realize that the square way isn’t working for them so they seek out a different way.
Stop trying to fit-in and relate. Stop trying to act other than yourself. Only put that “hat” on when you need to and take it off when you don’t. Squares are the majority and as a Player you have to accept that reality.
To master The Game you have to master BOTH worlds. You should be able to move between them at will to do whatever you need to do. You have to see things from both sides of the coin – just like the nature of The Game. The Game itself is neutral; it’s just there to be played. This moving in-and-out at will requires a high degree of mental and emotional mastery.
This understanding starts by not fighting against Social Conditioning, but releasing yourself from it. You should want to fully understand it and learn to use it to your advantage when needed. It becomes a tool instead of a burden. Your world opens up instead of feeling confined.
My apologies on being slightly obscure, but when you put this together, you'll realize the isolation isn't that bad. You'll have more time (and less distractions) to do what you need to do - and that's to create your lifestyle. Then you can start sitting on your throne with more peace and contentment.
Until next time...
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