We made reservations for 7:00 pm, hopped in a cab, and went downtown to try out a new Vegan, Gluten Free Pizzeria. Only in NYC.
We arrived at 7:15, fifteen minutes late.
“Thanks for calling in,” the host said, scrambling to find us a table.
“The traffic was terrible,” I said, blaming our tardiness on the road.
She understood. It was rush hour on a Saturday night and traffic was, in fact, terrible.
A few minutes later, we were seated; I’m not sure why, but this seemingly trivial exchange got me thinking.
Was it really due to too many cars on the road that caused me to be late? Sure, there was traffic, but there’s traffic for everyone. Others still made it on time. The truth is I should have left earlier.
Far too many are the times I hear people (myself included) blaming the situation when in reality we’re the ones at fault.
If you’re losing at poker it’s probably because you suck, not because of a bad run of cards.
We need to start taking responsibility for every aspect of our lives. After all, we all run the same in the end: It’s how we play the hand that defines us.
I learned this crucial lesson at the poker table. Winners don’t worry about the bad beats they take, nor do they blame luck when they lose. Instead, they aim to understand how they could have played the hand differently to improve their long term results.
Here’s a simple way you can apply this same strategy yourself. Audit various aspects of your life. Then ask, “What are the one or two things I can do to improve this situation?”
In short, focus on what you can control and forget about the rest.