#133: Problems and failures, and Tom Brady on hard work

One thought from me: Picking the problems

This one’s not new. Maybe there’s no such thing as originality, anyway.

But it is something I’ve been attentive to for at least the last year.

It’s the idea that there is no end to life’s problems.

If you’re lucky, today you will face a series of little problems: the milk goes sour, the electricity bill arrives, the lawnmower doesn’t start.

If you’re unlucky, today you are dealing with one or more major problems, the kind that makes all the little problems fade away.

Two things about this:

  1. If you don’t have one of the major problems, be grateful for your little problems.
  2. There is no such thing as a day without problems; the game, then, is not to try to aim for an impossible life without any problems, but to invest your thoughts and energy on getting good at dealing with the problems you face, because over a lifetime, that is perhaps the most important skill to master

One thought from someone else: Tom Brady on hard work

Tom Brady is one of my heroes, if it’s okay for a 42-year-old man to have a hero (Tom is 11 weeks older than me.)

I always admired his achievements on the field, over 20 years with the New England Patriots, when he appears in nine Super Bowls and won six and set all sorts of records for longevity and achievement.

He became the greatest of all time, without much debate, even though 198 players were picked ahead of them in that NFL Draft all those years ago…

The Tom vs Time documentary is well worth seeking out, and his recent interview on the Armchair Expert podcast with Dax Shepard was full of things to contemplate.

For example, on hard work:

Inherently we’re taught that hard work is going to get you to where you want to go.

If you work out once a day, then working out twice a day is better.

My view of that is that if you’re working hard at the wrong things you’re getting better at getting worse.

How to know we’re working at the right things? We don’t, not for certain, but regular reflection helps us get closer to the mark.

The full interview with Tom Brady is available on the Armchair Expert podcast here

A question for you

List out some things in life that you’ve made a habit of seeing as failures.

Now, ask yourself this.

How can I view these instead as successes, or seeds of success?