There’s another level after the work, though: Performance.
See, when I started Work On Your Game, I was making YouTube videos of myself practicing basketball. No one had ever done that before. Now “YouTube Hoopin’” is a thing. People who can’t really play basketball build their notoriety around practicing basketball. I’ll own the blame for that (and go into more detail in a future post).
The purpose was not just to practice. I was doing all that practicing not to show off or “build a brand” — but to be ready for my next game opportunity. The goal of working on my game was to perform.
There’s another level after that: The Results.
Every Fall, several basketball players tell me how they dominated their school’s basketball tryouts only to be cut on the first day. Aside from the fact that I don’t believe any of their stories (I’ve learned that every athlete is a good player when they’re talking about themselves), it also doesn’t matter. What matters in the end is not your actions alone — but the results of your actions. This is a Mental Toughness topic.
Have you ever had a person do something that put you in a fucked-up situation, then explained it by telling you how righteous their actions and intentions were, as if that would make it all better?
Which one mattered more to you — the action or the result?
Which brings us to Starbucks.
Go and read about what happened; unlike the Meek Mill situation, this is one where everyone seems to agree on what transpired. Starbucks is owning the fuck-up (as a company, on behalf of the dumb actions of one person who quickly quit her job; such is corporate life). What bothers me is not what happened (though I don’t agree with it) but our — the general liberal public and Black folks’ — complete overreaction to it.
Some guys were victimized by what I see as an unconscious racial bias of the former Starbucks employee. Now we’re holding protests, organizing boycotts (that won’t last) and trending hashtags… all for what, exactly?
Once all this is put into full effect (we could say that’s already happened), what do we GAIN from it? In what ways do our lives improve?
We protest and shout and boycott and… what? 6 months from now, what about our lives will be better?
The NAACP has gotten involved. NAACP stands for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Let’s focus on that word, “Advancement.” How does protesting Starbucks advance us?
There is no answer, because it doesn’t.
Something happened (work). We are now acting (performing). What’s the result?
For Your Game
- Consider the long-term results of every action (book: The 33 Strategies of War). A great book I just read explains how successful people make long-term time decisions with their money, energy, associations, nutrition, and the rest — while less successful people make their decisions based on short-term gratification. This Starbucks thing will be over in a week or two with nothing gained. Except now Black people will go to Starbucks on purpose, daring an employee to (try to) kick them out. Read The Mental Handbook and build your Bulletproof Mindset.
- Never make a (relatively) big news story centered around how you were a victim. It doesn’t have to be you personally who was involved — I haven’t heard the two guys who were arrested say anything since the incident. But thousands of people have picked up the “fight” and started this crusade over the guys being profiled. Putting energy on being a victim just draws more stuff to be a victim of. I’ll address this more tomorrow with a personal story.
- If you cannot articulate a useful, progress-aiding result to your action, why are you doing it?
Where can you be more results-focused instead of just action-focused? Why? Reply and let me know.