A word before we begin. I wanted to highlight something I mentioned when I announced the launch of this project. In that post I wrote, “I’m no life-coach or anything like that. I’ve never fooled myself into believing I am.” This project isn’t me sharing all these wild success stories. It isn’t raining hundred dollar bills. I’m not driving a tricked out Tesla with the Ludicrous Speed package.

No Snake-Oil Sales here.

In Jiu Jitsu, there is a saying, “You either win or learn.” It holds true. Every day. Any tidbits, insight, thoughts or opinions that I share in this project primarily come from more failure than success. It is in the failures that we learn what not to do, far more so than any successes can teach us what to do. The best kind of success in my mind, comes from the sum total of many failures: learned from, worked on and chipped away at, culminating into success.

You get the point.

Keep that in mind.

Now, without further ado… Day 1 of the IF Project.

 

“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you…”

And this is where it all starts. A Stoic response to shit just hitting the fan.

Keep your head. Breathe. Stay focused.

Like I heard once or twice, “Son, sometimes you’re just stuck with the duty…” And it isn’t pretty. Like it or not, being a leader dictates that the blame fall on your shoulders, right or wrong. It never feels good to be blamed for something going south. Even if it is 100% your fault and you’re owning it. Even if  it isn’t you’re fault and you are stepping up regardless, taking ownership of the situation and working towards a solution.

People still will blame you.

This is part of human nature. We don’t like looking in the mirror and examining how we have contributed to the problem. It hurts the ego investment (see hubris) we’ve made in ourselves. We’d much rather lash out; blame someone, anyone, as long as we don’t have to examine ourselves.

Sometimes you’re just stuck with the duty…

Embrace it and keep your head. OODA – Observe, Orient, Decide and Act. Check the negative side of your ego. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

However… sometimes the voices are your own. You’ll be harder on yourself than all the rest. The pressure you place on yourself to “get it right” to “not fail” constructs a choir of voices in your head: “You’re fucking this up!” “You’re a failure, again!”

Take a step or two back.

Keep your head, my friend…

And most importantly: trust yourself.