Don't Kid Yourself

Despite misgivings and handwringing, I've watched a fair amount of the NFL playoffs this season and noticed an exception to the general rule that head coaches look and act like intensely crazy lunatics. Namely, they stay calm when instant replay results go against them. [Some context: Certain decisions made by officials on the field can be reviewed after the play is over. If there's clear video evidence that the call made on the field was wrong then it is overturned.]

Beyond the fact that the next play needs to get started in 25 seconds, meaning there's very limited time to freak out, I think the coaches stay cool because by the time the decision is being announced they already have a very good sense of which way it's going to go thanks to their assistant coaches who are reviewing the same video as the officials.

The generalizable lessons seem pretty clear.

DON'T KID YOURSELF

You don't do yourself any favors by pretending that the facts are other than what they are, even if they're the opposite of what you hoped for.

Wait and see refers to decisions, not prep

The periods when things are out of your control and shaking themselves out - your resume is being considered, an A/B test is being run, a prospect is considering your offer, etc - are the vital  times for figuring out what you'll do in different contingencies. "Wait and see" applies to the decision, not to the prep.

Get over it and move on

There's no time to sit around and be bummed about the twist of fate that went against you since the next decision or challenge is coming up fast.

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Icon credit: Lawrence Willmott