In this season of commencement addresses here’s the one I’d like to give. It’s simple: Play the hand you’ve been dealt.
In college I majored in Fraternity, with a minor in “Hearts,” the game where you can “take the Queen of Spades,” “Shoot The Moon,” or both. One thing I learned; you play the hand you’ve been dealt. You can’t fold, and you can’t re-deal. You have to play the hand you’ve been dealt. You’ve been passed the queen of spades and have no other spades in your hand? Deal with it. Take your thirteen points and keep playing. No Hearts in your hand, and you think you can “shoot?” – try. Maybe you can and maybe you can’t but at least you should try. Play the hand you’ve been dealt.
I hear people say that things would have been different if… If they had been born in a different place, if their parents had done this or that, if they had gone to a different school or chosen a different career. If someone hadn’t screwed them along the way or if they had gotten a key promotion then their life would have been different. I always think: “probably not.” You played the hand you were dealt and even if you had different cards you would still not win, because you are always thinking about the hand you wish you had been given instead of the hand you were dealt.
I wish I was a great athlete. I’m not. Sometimes I wish I was more serving. I’m not. Sometimes I wish I was more of an academic. I’m not. That’s part of the hand I’ve been dealt.
This too is the hand I’ve been dealt. I’m not a “Serving” “Core Motivator,” but I like being a “Relationships” “Core Motivator.” I’m not a great athlete, but I like being able to sing. I’m not a great student but I like being a thinker even if I’m not an academic. I’m not a corporate guy, but I like being an entrepreneur and a leader. It’s ok. I like playing this hand. I may shoot the moon and I may just take twenty-five points, but it’s the hand I’ve been dealt and my job is to do the best I can to play this hand.
What’s the hand you’ve been dealt? Do you like the hand you’ve been dealt? Are you doing the most with the hand you’ve been dealt? You must! You can’t look at other people and think, “if only I was like them my life would be better.” You’ll never be like them and you can’t play the hand they’ve been dealt. You can only play the hand you’ve been dealt.
Here are the questions you can ask yourself:
Do you know your “Core Motivator” and are you living out of it?
Do you have a good understanding of your strengths and weaknesses? Are you playing to your strengths?
Do you know your “intuitive initiative” and are you navigating it well?
Look at the cards in your hand, decide which three to pass, stop whining and start playing. Who knows. You may even shoot the moon!