Thoughts, Stories, Action Newsletter: Ponder new ideas, learn through stories, then walk the walk.

Play the Game to Win. Stop Trying to Change the Rules

October 25, 2020
Jason Gutierrez


“Identify your problems but give your power and energy to solutions.” - Tony Robbins


A great number of people complain about the world being unfair.

 “Minimum wage is too low.”
 "Rent’s too high.”
 “Of course they gave the job to the hiring manager’s nephew!”

And to be honest, their complaints are sometimes justified - the world IS unfair.

When I lost one of my previous jobs as an engineer, roughly 6,000 people were laid off on the spot. Six thousand people.

After almost 10 years of effort, the project had gone way over budget and faced several more years of schedule delays. So, during a random Monday morning Board of Director’s meeting, one of the major investors said, “Sorry, we’re out.”

And that was that.

Within an hour, police officers and security were evacuating everyone off the premises. After just four hours, the entire construction site was a ghost town. 

Many were (rightfully) outraged, scared, confused, and feeling sorry for themselves and the others affected. They bickered over Facebook groups and in community gatherings. For weeks, that was almost all they did.

While they did their thing, I was busy doing mine.

Yes, losing my job sucked, but complaining about it for more than five minutes wasn’t going to make the problem go away - it was only going to make it worse.

So instead of joining the Debbie Downers’ social media brigade, I got busy utilizing the tools our companies had provided us to help us quickly get back on our feet.

I went to resume workshops, networking events, and interviewing classes. All for free. Every time, I was shocked at how few people attended. I mean, finding a job is a pain in the ass, why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of every opportunity you could in a time like that?

However, despite the sheer volume of people who had just lost their jobs, twenty, MAYBE thirty people were out at those events.


Several months later and I was still seeing random Facebook notifications from people complaining about the situation.

I’ve never really understood the thought process behind those kinds of people.

Time is everyone’s most precious asset. Every day, every nanosecond you’re alive, you lose a fraction of that asset. Why waste it focused on something that you can’t change? What’s done is done. If you want to move forward, you focus on the solution, not the problem.

And certainly not the same problem for several freakin’ months.

So yes, many people complain about the world being unfair. And yes, the world is unfair. But you can either try your darndest to change the rules (which rarely ever happens) or you can find a way to play the game to win.

Three weeks after I lost my job, I had landed a higher-paying position at the company that I’ve now been with for over three years.

Having a few weeks off before starting my new job, I flew out to Flagstaff, AZ to hang and relax with my then-girlfriend.

I was sipping on margaritas poolside while everyone else was still complaining about the same stupid problem.

Play the game to win. Stop trying to change the rules.


Stop focusing on the problem and start taking action toward potential solutions.



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