The Right Work with a Bad Result

The poker player has bet well for a few rounds and thinks they have the best hand, all the way up to the river. Now she feels like the one opponent remaining may have been holding onto a straight draw they way overplayed… until it just hit. After a minute of deliberation, she folds the hand. It hurts to lose a big pot she took the time to build, but it was the right call.

The lesson learned isn’t that she shouldn’t have bet all those times. It’s that bad results can still happen, even when you do the right work. Do the right work again. Try to keep doing it better. 

That sales call where you followed up as promised, but the client you thought you had rapport with had nothing but a snarl for your latest proposal. That short story you wrote with the perfect twist ending, that had nothing but rejections from your favorite magazines. That conversation you’ve been meaning to have with a parent for so long, but doesn’t go as well as you’d hoped. You made the right call to make the effort, and the bad result was out of your control.

Make more calls, and keep trying to make them better. Learn the work, not the result.