troublemakers and losing the way you want

 

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“Throughout history, people with new ideas — who think differently and try to change things — have always been called troublemakers.”

Richelle Mead

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As Sam Seaborne says “if I am gonna lose let me lose doing something.”

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Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.”

Voltaire

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Losing is part of Life. And, if you are a business troublemaker, you almost have to get used to losing because if you are worth half a shit as a troublemaker you will most likely reside in an 80/20 world. 80% of the trouble you make won’t give you any satisfaction if you are seeking a ‘win. So the 20% wins need to be enjoyed.

Now.

I will point out that all that losing doesn’t make you a loser, but that’s not my point today. My main point is that troublemaker ideas create some fairly intense feelings.

Oddly, and maybe incorrectly, I’m going to lean in on Maslow to discuss this.  Maslow’s original formulation identified five levels (three more, including curiosity or exploration, aesthetics, and religion were added later.)

The first level comprised biological needs – such as food, shelter, warmth, sex, and sleep.

The second focused on ‘safety’: protection from the environment, law and order, stability, and security.

The third level concerned ‘love and belonging’, including friendship, acceptance, love, and being part of a group – not only family, but also at work.

Fourth were the needs for ‘esteem’. These included both self-esteem (dignity, achievement, independence) and respect from others (status, prestige).

Fifth was ‘self-actualization’ needs covered self-fulfillment, personal growth, and particularly intense, ‘peak’ experiences. To flourish, the top level of self-actualization must be reached.

I share this because flourish and losing seems like it creates a fairly visceral intense reaction.

 

This makes me share two thoughts:

 

Investing in big loss opportunities.

Go big or go home comes to mind. If you are a troublemaker you will absolutely invest energy in small wins and losses. Let’s call those ‘nudge opportunities.’ But your Maslow self will be defined by the big wins and losses. If you want to survive. you have to get good at 2 things:

  • Not investing intense energy on small things. in other words, you only have so much to give and you cannot give it away all the time. Contrary to much popular advice, sometimes ‘just enough’ is essential to success.
  • Effectively discerning the big things. it may be obvious, but at the onset little things can look like big things and big things can look like little things. Your survival as a troublemaker may balance on how well you can discern the difference between the two.

Choose wisely.

 

Embracing big losses gracefully.

Once you decide to go big or go home your personal intensity naturally increases. You are vested and invested in the idea or thinking. Most times at this stage you never think about losing, only winning. Not in ruthlessly competing but rather in “I cannot envision how anyone could ever not see the benefits of this.” Losing, therefore, becomes either a failure in them (they couldn’t see it) or a failure in you (what did I do wrong). Failing is the worst version of losing. How you lose often defines who you are.

Act wisely.

 

Anyway.

Hugh McLeod

I began with Maslow to emphasize how challenging both of these things are. The higher you go up on the Maslow pyramid the more personal it gets. That means the importance of gains & losses increase in importance. Which brings me back to my opening 80/20 breakdown. Even the best of the best troublemakers only win 20% of the time.

So.

All I really know is you better learn how to lose well or everyone will think you are an asshole. And, before you dismiss that thought as “who cares, I am a troublemaker”, in the real world troublemakers are dependent upon (a) being in positions & places in which they can make trouble and (b) other people to actually bring the ideas & thinking to life. If you are an asshole, no place will want you and no people will want to have anything to do with any of your ideas and thinking.

Yeah.

How you lose matters.

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Written by Bruce