Two Things You Can Do that Aren’t Stupid
Everyone does stupid things. Thankfully, most of us don’t do stupid things on national television.
Last Sunday, Terry Bradshaw did a stupid thing when he joked about Antonio Brown (AB) on national television. Brown is the wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Bradshaw said, “Put him in a straightjacket and take him to some hospital.”
AB did a stupid thing when he walked out on his team in the middle of a game. Many think his flamboyant departure is the end of a controversial football career.
Two things you can do that aren’t stupid:
#1. Rest before you’re exhausted.
You drink water before you collapse from thirst. Give your body a rest before you’re exhausted.
Fatigue makes you stupid.
When you’re exhausted, small issues are big and big issues are overwhelming.
- Don’t wait till you feel miserable to go home. Go home, once in a while, full of energy.
- Take short breaks during the day, a short walk for example.
- Do more things that give you energy.
- Red Bull isn’t the answer.
#2. Resolve hot emotion before making decisions.
Don’t express yourself when emotion is a bubbling cauldron.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose a response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Victor Frankl
You need a confidant; someone you can say things to that you can’t say anywhere else.
A confidant is on your side but won’t take your side.
People who take your side when emotion is hot:
- Weaken relationships by fueling false courage.
- Strengthen stupid decisions. A side-taker says, “You’re right to be upset,” and leaves it at that.
- Neglect negative consequences. It’s stupid to say off-handedly, “Consequences be damned,” before reflecting on consequences.
What are some things leaders can do that aren’t stupid?
Mental health issues aren’t a joke. Calling AB stupid is as bad as what Terry Bradshaw said. Could AB have made a different choice? Of course, assuming he was acting logically and not from a primordial part of his braIn. Understanding trauma and how it impacts our thinking and behavior is key!
Thanks for your input, Debra. If you notice, I said that AB did a stupid thing. Smart people do stupid things. I’m OK if you disagree with my statement. Thanks again for chiming in.
Be confident enough to admit that we don’t know everything, and we will make mistakes from time to time- just be willing to discuss the issues to facilitate better decisions.
Thanks Joe. So true. The first step to a solution is admitting you’re wrong. The people around us have some influence on our willingness to admit we don’t know.
“You need a confidant; someone you can say things to that you can’t say anywhere else.”
Most people my age have heard the story of President Harry Truman, and the music critic who wrote a bad review of Truman’s daughter’s singing, and Truman then blasting the critic in print. Most people have not heard about how Truman’s response came to be published.
Truman’s press secretary was a boyhood friend named Charlie Ross, a man whom Truman had always respected. Whenever something really made Truman angry and offended him personally, he would dictate a letter. Rather than confront Truman directly about something he was about to write that was beneath him, Ross would take down whatever Truman sad verbatim, and type up the letter unedited. But he never brought the letter back to Truman for his signature for at least twenty-four hours, at which time Truman always tore the letters up.
Ross never took a vacation while Truman was in office, and never bothered to tell anyone about his procedure, and then he suddenly had a massive heart attack and died. The new man in his job didn’t know the drill, and when Harry Truman dictated the angry letter about the critic’s review of his daughter’s singing, the press secretary had Truman sign the letter on the spot and sent it out in the morning mail. The rest, as they say, is history.
Every President needs a Charlie Ross.
For many years, one of my key team leaders, who was later my second-in-command. was my confidant and sounding board. He always took the position, “If you are sure this is what you want done, I will use my full energies to make it so, but, respectfully, have you considered ‘X’?” A number of times his reservations kept me from making needless mistakes. Both retired, we remain close friends to this day.
Thanks Jim. I was not aware of that story about Truman. It’s perfect. There have been a few times in my life when I’ve called a confidant and said things that are embarrassing.
I’m not convinced that venting always helps. But sometimes it helps to say it out loud. When I think back to some of the things I’ve said in those moments, I’m embarrassed.
Thanks again for a great story.
Bradshaw’s actions are all the more surprising because he has talked publicly about his own battles with depression, even being featured in suicide prevention videos for the U. S. Army.
For some reference, I ran across a (old) definition of ‘stupid’ being when someone acts in a way that hurts themselves, and hurts others. It has little to do with intelligence or education! I think this is how your have related your thoughts as well.
Bradshaw and AB have taken a lot of shots to the head in their careers
I agree, Terry Bradshaw did say a stupid thing. On the flip side, what he said captured publicly what, perhaps not exactly, what a lot of us are thinking about these athletes that operate like there is no ramifications to their behavior. This athlete in particular was given a lot of chances after making one stupid mistake after another. As Brady said, he needs help, hope he gets the help he needs. He doesn’t need to be on a football field with little kids looking up to him. That time in his life has passed. Back to Terry – he’s a color guy and has a reputable career, he will probably apologize and be better at choosing his words the next time (hopefully there’s not) another football player does a stupid thing.