So, I’m writing this because everyone is talking about the nightmare that was the political debate. (Note: I am SO glad I live in Canada.) When you guys do sober up and realize that yes, these are the nightmares you must deal with, I offer you a little into my own insight, and maybe, just maybe, it’ll help you with your choices. I’m just a schmuck, but I figure in me telling you how I measure people, that you will in turn, do the same, and come to your own conclusions.
What Collectible Card Games taught me about people
I used to play magic the gathering. I still love collectible card games and enjoy the sheer mathematics of it. Cards in these games are balanced with numbers. What’s important to understand in a game like Magic is that the important numbers are the cost of an ability and the advantages those cards give. The plus ones of asserting control of the board and making decisions impact the game. The numbers are important.
In real life, I suppose you could equate this to the facts. Truths are truths and facts are facts. You can’t deny certain things. Up is up. One day you will die. You need oxygen to breathe. Stuff like this. There are undeniable truths. When I play a card, like my favorite ball lightning, I am trying to hit you for a lot of damage. Ball Lightning is simple. Pay 3, deal 6 damage. I’ve won many a game with that card.
But much like the numbers in the game, that’s only a portion of the battle. The other portion is the opponent themselves. Magic in particular is about anticipating what the opponent has based on the information given to you by the opponent. The kind of land they are playing, the cards they are playing, when they are playing them. Why they are playing them.
Because if you understand that, you can sometimes anticipate player movements. Due to the nature of the game, certain cards lead to certain combinations, and I can counter them sometimes with a few simple moves. Sometimes I don’t and the game is over. But if I know what you’re going to do, based on the your history of what you’ve done in the past, I can prepare myself for you.
This doesn’t just apply to games. It applies to people too.
Image Isn’t Everything
We have this tendency to skim. How many of you are reading what I’m saying I wonder, or just skimming because I’ve shown the magic card Ball Lightning? Are you really paying attention to what I’m saying? I’m not trying to insult you. Rather, we just tend to gloss over text and details. What’s the point?
And that’s why image sells. It’s the heart of beer commercials and politics alike.
Everything you see on television is by and large, calculated. Politics especially creates a certain reaction. Donald Trump is a master of television. You have to give it to him. The people that love him speak of him softly, but the people that hate him talk about him non stop. Don’t believe me? All I have to do is look at my facebook feed. Howard Stern’s listeners in his heyday primarily were the people that hated him. Understand this, and you get some of what he is doing. His biggest peddlers of his information are the people that hate him most.
Think about that for a second.
It’s why I don’t talk about him much. Donald Trump is the Howard Stern of politics.
Biden is a familiar face. I saw him as vice president. He seemed a little bit eccentric around Obama, but he’s far less polarizing than his opponent. He feels more like a classic politician from not too long in the distant pass. Each of them project an image.
Advertising is the nature of what we all do. We do it by telling each other stories. We know the story of Trump. We watch it unfold every day on the news. We know the story of Biden. We watched it when he was in the white house as a vice president.
What’s the reality?
I really don’t care what they say. All you have to do is read their social media feeds, and you get their message loud and clear. Again, that’s the story they are telling. But what are they doing? What’s their game?
When I interview people on my podcast, I listen to what people tell me. I do the same thing with my clients. Information is key to how I’m going to respond. If for example with a client I ask for information and I don’t get it, I will not be able to get the result I desire. So then the question is why?
When I ask questions on my podcast, it’s all about listening to what my guest is actually talking about. I do the back and forth but I want to get to their heart, so by listening I figure out what they care about. Once I do that, I can cut away at the image presented to me and see the person I’m talking to. That’s what I care about. That’s where I form my opinions on a person.
I do the same thing with any issue. I try to look as much of the picture as I can. I look at the person’s history, whether it’s Bill Gates or it’s anybody with a message on television, telling their story. Who are they? What do they want? Why are they here? What will they likely do? Because the truth is, they’ll likely do what they’ve always done.
Show, Not Tell
Every single one of us gives our game away. What we say, and more importantly, what we do paints the whole picture. One of the biggest pieces of advice I’ve ever had with my writing is show, not tell. People don’t want to be told what to see, show them. It’s the best way to tell your story.
Did you learn anything different about the people in the debate tonight you didn’t already know? Probably not.
But you will learn something when you do some research. Biden has a track record. He was vice president. He did things. Trump has a record as president. He’s done things. The least interesting thing is what he says, but it’s easy to be distracted by it.
And honestly? With everything out there, that’s the real danger. We get distracted by everything. We are told to fight over issues and we fight over issues, whether it’s a mask or who our next leader is. We don’t look at ourselves honestly. We don’t ask ourselves why we let things happen like having our children going back to school in a pandemic. What does that say about us? Are we really concerned about the virus? Or are we hypocrites? Does a government that cares about its people allow this?
Our actions are the real narrators in life. It doesn’t matter what it is, it’s what we do about the issues involved that matter.
We have the internet. We have Youtube. We have Duck Duck Go, Google. Pick your search engine. You can follow what people say and do just by what they post. It’s actually easier than ever before. People show you all the time. The trick is just to pay attention.
So do that. Look at everything in life right now. Look at your politics, look at COVID, look at your place of work. Everybody everywhere is telling you exactly what matters to them, every single day. Look at what they do.
That’s the real story. Once you learn that, you can figure out where we’re going from there, and what you can do about it.