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Exploiting Societal Weaknesses

In poker you often win not by playing your cards, but by playing your opponents cards. My good friend and sometimes poker mentor once told me that to become a winning poker player, you must learn to win the pots that no one has a legitimate claim to. If you have an excellent hand, you'll probably win. If he has an excellent hand, he'll probably win. But if neither of you has a particularly good hand, the pot is up for grabs. It's in situations like these that rather than playing your hand, you focus on your opponents weakness.

In real life, too, I find a lot of value in working from other people's weaknesses, especially societal weaknesses. As urbanization continues along with population growth, standing out from the crowd becomes more and more difficult. Even if you are exceptional, your impression can drown amongst the sea of other people everyone is meeting. The solution, or part of it anyway, is to identify what society at large is bad at, and excel at it. By doing so, you become even more distinct as the field increases.

Here are some examples of ways I try to distance myself from the crowd.

1. Always be on time. Being late has become the standard. I never expect anyone to show up to anything on time, and I'm usually not surprised. Most people won't be terribly late, but five or ten minutes of tardiness is the norm. For the past few months I've made a point of always being on time for everything. A week or two ago I was half an hour late making a phone call, and I still remember it today because it was such an egregious violation of this standard.

Devotional: Ten Thoughts To Encourage Others

On Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Today is Saturday March 23, 2013.

Here are ten thoughts I use to encourage others:

1. Show real interest in the person. Listen to what they are saying. Be interested in what is happening in their life. Let them know you care.

2. Concede what’s important to them. When you acknowledge what’s important to others, you offer a form of verification and support about who they are and what they’re doing.

3. Say “congratulations”. These magical Words of Encouragement at the right time can make all the difference between “keep going” and “give up”. Congratulate them on a job or task well done.

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