John Wooden passed away earlier this year at the age of 99. He lived a long and full life with incredible success during his college basketball career at UCLA. He was known for having imparting a lot of wisdom to his young players. I read a review of some of them and thought I would write a series of blogs inspired by some of his quotes. The first one is...
“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.“ - John Wooden
I love this quote, because it encompasses the reality of life. How much of it do we control. We can plan, plot,and prepare all we want, but we don't control the outcome. There are so many elements that we don't have much influence over. Those who are fortunate have their hard work pay off, many others work similarly hard, but don't the results they desire.
Earlier today I was writing a FAQ article about when is the best time to bluff. Sometimes, no matter how well you set up a bluff, it isn't going to work. Your opponent may have hit their hand or simply be a calling station with any piece. You may stack yourself and look foolish, but how do you react to this situation? Do you buy back in and use that new loose table image to your advantage to get paid off with a hand later? Do you start to press and ramp up the aggression to get it back quickly? Do you resume your normal game? Do you call it quits because it doesn't seem to be your night?
Earlier this week, as I was flying home, I missed the connection in Minneapolis, due to weather, and had to get a hotel room in Minneapolis and fly out the next day. Some people were freaking out at the airline insisting that they should get their room comped even though the airline clearly states, rightly or wrongly, that they aren't responsible for weather delays. Some frantically insisted they make their own arrangements, pissed off at the airlines. I quietly watched their frustrated antics and how the attendants reacted. Remaining calm, I was able to rebook my automatically re-assigned flight to an earlier flight by being nice to the attendant. Then I accepted the discount hotel coupon, booked my room, caught the free shuttle and jumped on the free Internet in my room to get some work done. My night went smoothly and I got home 14 hours later than planned in Portland.
The key, as I see it, to the quote is making the best of whatever situation you find yourself in. Is it worth stressing out when you encounter difficulty? Will that somehow help you resolve or improve your situation? Will your life be improved or prolonged by fighting your outcome? Outcomes are beyond your control, but how you react to them isn't. You don't control how other people will act or react, you only control your actions. Can you sleep at night knowing how you acted? Do you feel you gave it your best shot? Regardless of the outcome, did you learn from it and move on?
John Wooden was a mentor to many with his plethora of wise quotes. I hope to do a little justice to a few more of them in the coming weeks.