Are You Too Careful?

I enjoy reading about someone who’s doing something I’m completely unqualified to do, or could ever imagine doing, to learn a thing or two that would benefit my life.

Here’s an example, and it’s happening currently on the game show Jeopardy. Do I watch Jeopardy? Nope, but I heard about it. Could I ever play Jeopardy? Not in a million years.

Contestant James Holzhauer, however, is on quite a winning streak. It’s possible that he has broken the game, nobody really knows. One thing is for sure — he seems unstoppable.

He’s efficient, too. At the time of this writing, his total winnings are over 1.6 million in 22 games and he’s still going. (Note: he’s on a two week break at the moment to allow for a regular Jeopardy competition.) For comparison, it took former record holder Ken Jennings 74 games to win $2.5 million.

What is it about Holzhauer that makes him so good at the game? Is it his knowledge? Is he fast on the buzzer? Or is his strategy what gives him the edge?

Of all those possibilities, what I”m most curious about is what he does that could help the rest of us.

Sure, Holzhauer is fast on the buzzer, and he’s super-knowledgeable, but so are other players who make it through Jeopardy’s pre-screening process.

So — is it his strategy that sets him apart?

Yes, in fact, he does a few things other Jeopardy players rarely do.

Name One.

He answers the hardest questions with the largest payoff first. He tackles the $1,000 categories and works his way down. Typically, contestants do the opposite.

In business coaching circles, this is known as “schedule the big rocks, don’t sort the gravel.” Important things, the big rock items, only get done if we, well, do them — if they’re our priority.

Holzhauer tackles the big rocks first.

What Else?

There’s more.

When he finds the Daily Double, he bets everything.

Explain, please.

For non-Jeopardy folks (I am one of those) there’s a square called The Daily Double and if you happen to land on it, it allows you to bet any part of your current winnings. Simple enough.

Typically, contestants are conservative about what they bet, but it turns out that Holzhauer is a professional sports better by day. He’s used to betting.

(Oh, that could explain a few things!)

He says, “The fact that I win and lose money all the time helps desensitize me, so I can write down $60,000 as the Final Jeopardy wager and not be trembling at the thought of losing that money.”

Further, his mindset is: “This isn’t a trivia question. It’s a coin flip that’s going to land heads for me a lot more often than it’s going to land tails, so I’m going to bet as much as I can on heads.”

You know, on that note, what if the rest of us rolled up our sleeves and took more chances during an average day? What if we said what we meant? Changed something about our daily routine that made a qualitative difference? What if we stood up for others more often, or for ourselves? What if we dropped a job we don’t enjoy, to go for something more soul-satisfying?

What if we threw caution to the wind and upped the ante where it matters, and we did it consistently — allowing us to develop confidence? What if, in the long run, regular practice would give us a stronger belief in how things naturally turn out well — often.

Developing natural confidence works entirely in our favor. Maybe it’s worth working on, worth practicing.

Anything Else?

Here comes a tricky one.

James cautions that to be successful, it’s important to to be comfortable.

He says, “Some of the opponents I’ve been playing, you can see they are visibly shaken by what’s going on onstage. Of course, you’re not going to play well if you’re up there trembling. And if you make yourself tremble by playing more aggressively than you are comfortable with, that’s so much the worse.”

Because James bets for a living, his comfort zone about taking chances is very different than the typical contestant, clearly a huge advantage for him.

And how does one get accustomed to taking risks? As we were just speaking about a moment ago — practice, practice, practice.

Drumroll, Please…

So here’s what we have so far.

Holzhauer tackles the hardest questions with the largest payoff first. He bets everything he’s got when given the chance. He practices winning and losing so that he’s comfortable with it. He believes things turn out well for him.

Now for the final idea.

When asked about his overall strategy, he said the traditional way of playing Jeopardy is too “risk-averse,” that what we often do doesn’t actually set us up to win.

He does what seems counter-intuitive. Each step of the way, he takes a risk that could throw him out of the game. He does the very thing that could cause him to lose.

And by doing this, he wins big, he wins often, and he wins fast.

James says,“Really, the big risk is never trying anything that looks like a big gamble.”

Why not take Holzhauer’s smackaroo advice into your week? Try new things and report back! I’d love to hear about it.

P.S. Photo credit goes to: Image by skeeze from Pixabay. Quotes from James are from https://nyti.ms/2W3nuGt.

Terri’s book of photography combined with poetry is here! 100 Words: Small Servings of Whimsy and Wisdom to Calm the Mind and Nourish the Heart.

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Terri Crosby

Helping you create life-affirming, ever-evolving, happier relationships with those you love. Follow me on twitter at@TerriCrosby or read myblog.

Comments (2)

  • Avatar

    Colleen

    |

    As a woman who has been called “risk averse” by her very astute son, I will tell you this article slammed my hand right into my forehead with a recognition of something I am struggling with today. So beautiful!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Terri Crosby

      |

      Apparently, I wrote this blog for you! So grateful it hit home, and it helped.

      Reply

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Rise Up by Andra Day

What a great set of words for these oncoming days.

Rise Up

 
You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry go round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
When the silence isn’t quiet
And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet
And move mountains
Bring it to its feet
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other
And we will rise
We will rise
We’ll rise, oh, oh
We’ll rise
I’ll rise up
Rise like the day
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I will rise a thousand times again
And we’ll rise up
High like the waves
We’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
We’ll rise up
And we’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Cassandra Monique Batie / Jennifer Decilveo
Rise Up lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Terri’s book of photography combined with poetry is here! 100 Words: Small Servings of Whimsy and Wisdom to Calm the Mind and Nourish the Heart.

Read more

Rippling Abs, Anyone?

Rippling Abs, Anyone?

During this strange time in history, I noticed y’all were tackling all sorts of interesting projects. I decided I needed one, too—something positive to remember the pandemic of 2020 by.
 
I decided to pay attention to something I had abandoned…
 
Nope, I’m not cleaning my garage. I am not organizing one single thing. I’m not planting a garden or cleaning up my yard.
 
Instead, I decided to take care of myself better. This, folks, has made all the difference for me.
 
With relatively little time and effort on my part, I feel so much better than I did a month ago.
 
On March 30, I got on the exercise bike and the yoga mat for the first time in a long time, and did 30 minutes each. I liked it so much that I decided to do it every day. But I fell short of that, and changed my commitment to every other day, which felt more manageable, reasonable, and doable.
 
I also get off the bike after every song, take a couple of sips of water, shake out my legs and arms for a few seconds, and get back on. This makes the bike project a reasonable proposition, too.
 
Daily walks of any length—by myself, or with my little guy, Jackson—are a fresh air bonus.
 
My recumbent exercise bike has pulleys to work my upper body while I pedal, which gets my heart rate up fast, and also helps my whole-body strength. It feels good to get up from writing, or doing a consulting session with a client, to do something physically challenging while listening to good music.
 
After only a month, I feel a sheet of muscles on the front of me I haven’t felt for a very, very long time. Goodness gracious. Who knew they were there. I’ll be posting rippling ab photos soon, I’m sure.
 
I have no idea what the scales have to say about my bike/yoga project—I don’t care. Paying attention to scales tends to send me sideways, and therefore, I’m ignoring them completely.
 
But—I LOVE the way I feel! Hang in there, everyone.
 

Terri’s book of photography combined with poetry is here! 100 Words: Small Servings of Whimsy and Wisdom to Calm the Mind and Nourish the Heart.

Read more

Check Out This Troublemaker in Relationships

Check Out This Troublemaker in Relationships

Sometimes we ask intimate partners to do for us what is actually ours to do.

We ask our partner to give us the reassurance, love or appreciation we feel is missing in ourselves, with the hope that they will give us what we’re asking for—and then we’ll feel better. They’ll take care of our problem.

But when they do give us what we’re asking for, it can never be enough, because we have insufficient context for what they’ve given. We haven’t build the inner foundation to receive it, hear it, welcome it, believe it. They try to help, but their love for us falls into our void, our black hole, our love bucket with no bottom.

As always, there’s hope. Check out the video below.

Terri Crosby. http://www.incareofrelationships.com/.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

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Terri Crosby

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