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In 2003, a rabbi client of mine joked (seriously), “The dogma of any religion is: we’re right and you’re not.” I’ve always remembered that, because it’s true of people in general- we usually think our way is right, at least until proven otherwise.

How Joumor Productivity Principles are everywhere:

A couple of weeks ago was the first night of Pool (Billiards) League Playoffs. Our team was playing a team we had never met before.

The score was 1-1: each team had won 1 match. My friend Rich and I were up next. You have about 5 minutes to warm up when you play the second round, and it can be a bit nerve wracking, especially when you are playing someone rated 2 levels above you. So, I warmed up while my opponent (who said he didn’t need to warm up) watched me.

We began playing, and after 3 shots, my opponent said pleasantly, “Leah, do me a favor, you’re taking a long time between shots.” At first, I was shocked. This is my 3rd season, but usually people encourage you to take your time and do well, especially when they are better players than you. Surprised, with a bruised ego, I told my teammate. My teammate said, “Ah, that must be why he called the ref over.” I was shocked again! At first, my ego took over, and a million defensive thoughts ran through my head. “Don’t worry,” my teammate said, “you have 35 seconds between shots.”

My laid-back friend Rich joked, “Just wait until 32 seconds and then shoot!” We laughed. “He’s probably trying to mess with you,” Rich said. I didn’t think so, though I appreciated Rich’s unconcerned attitude. My opponent seemed like a genuinely nice person. I did feel pressured to “hurry,” but I ignored it. I double checked everything: sufficient chalk, my stance, the angle, my grip and choke on the cue…exhale and look at the object ball when shooting. I did this before every single shot and then tried to smile while shooting, as studies show that smiling makes you happier. [1][2] And guess what? My opponent missed more and more shots, paced around shaking his head, and said negative things about himself. I tried to hurry ONCE…and left the 9 ball almost in the pocket. And guess what? That was the only game he won. I won 6/7 games, and was the deciding player for our team winning that round! We won 2 more rounds of playoffs, ending as the 3rd best team in the league with a prize of $800!

The morals of this story:

People will try to rush you. Don’t let people rush you.

YOU will try to rush you. Don’t rush.

You’ll feel uncomfortable. Don’t give in to your uncomfortable emotions.

You already know what you need to do to win. Do what YOU need to do to win.

There can be a lot of elements to review in order to complete whatever project or goal you are trying to complete. Review and confirm.

Connect with your friends. Your friends will support you and make you laugh.

MOST things can be likened to a game, and if you don’t win, Nish Gefalech! (It’s not the worst thing in the world)! Don’t take things too seriously.

NEVER say bad things about yourself. People who talk sh*t about themselves are literally losers.

As they say, life is what you make it. You might not win the final round in the playoffs, but if you treat yourself with respect, smile and take your time, you’ll have a much funner time getting there.

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