Monday, May 17, 2021

playground lessons..............................

 It was the classic new-boy situation.  I was teased and taunted, and the hazing went on during most of the day.  I finally turned to the biggest of my tormentors and said, "All right, meet me outside."  Everybody knew there was going to be a fight.  When school was dismissed, a gang of kids was milling around by the steps of the back yard, waiting.  My opponent was waiting too.  I was frightened, but there was nothing to do about it.  I took off my coat and started running down the stairs at my enemy.  My seeming eagerness must have startled him, for I noticed that he wilted just a bit.  The fact is, I was expecting to get knocked down and was rushing in to get it over with, but when I saw him flinch, I gained new courage.  He gave up after one or two punches.  This minor incident was soon forgotten by almost everyone but me; it taught me a lesson that later applied in business every bit as  much as it did on a high-school playground:  If you show hesitancy or fear, you may already be half-defeated.  If you put on a bold front, and fight with everything you have, you can win.  Moreover, once you have won a few battles, you are usually left alone:  in the jungle, no animal thoughtlessly attacks the lion.

-William Zeckendorf, Zeckendorf; The autobiography of the man who played a real-life game of Monopoly and won the largest real estate empire in history

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