Just Don’t Drop a Ball.
I am obsessed with Mr. Jocko Willink’s mindset. His mindset is simple. He always pounds on the importance of good, old discipline, commitment and stuff like that through his book, interviews, podcasts, and everywhere.
But I am always surprised at his EXTREME actions or executions that exactly match his simple mindset every single time I hear his stories. (Right now my favorite podcast is his.)
Below is the story that gave me the new realization learned from Jocko.
Jock Willink, a former Navy SEAL, was a junior officer at one point. He was working under a senior officer at the time. Jocko, as a super disciplined man, double-checked, triple-checked, or even quadruple-checked everything for the man who he was working for to make his senior’s life easier.
And a new guy who was going to do Jocko’s job instead from that point was chosen. That new guy asked how the senior officer who he was going to serve responded when Jocko dropped the balls on some things.
Mr. Willink said, “I don’t know. I never dropped a ball.”
End of story.
Moral of the Story
I am always like a new junior officer who was going to replace Jocko Willink in the story above. I ask ‘what if I do it wrong’ question over and over again to myself. As a smart man, I make a plan B for the situation where I make a mistake.
Most of the plan Bs are used as copouts later. I think ‘I have this back up plan, so it’s OK to drop a ball.’
No, it’s not that. Don’t worry like a wimpy kid. We don’t need a plan B, unless it’s a truly risky thing to execute on. But not many things are TRULY risky in life. It’s a waste of time and energy most of the times.
Just have a single plan and carry that out. Just don’t drop a ball. Just get it done every single time when you have to do that. No excuses allowed. Don’t overcomplicate the plan by making more bullshit backup plans.