The owner of Quest Bar, Tom Bilyeu, has an interesting quote. It’s something along the lines of, “my goal in life is to get rear ended by a drunk driver and blame myself.” There’s a lot to unpack with this thought. First reaction would be to say the other driver shouldn’t have been driving drunk and the accident wouldn’t have happened in the first place. To an extent, this is correct. The driver absolutely shouldn’t have been driving drunk, but the emphasis here is, “is there anything that I could have done to have created more space for this accident to not happen.” That seems to be the sentiment of blaming yourself for a drunk driver rear ending you.
What we don’t want to do is make ourselves feel bad unnecessarily. Instead, we want to reframe this in a way to lead to self-improvement.
Were we paying enough attention while we were at a red light? Did we take out our phone and glance quickly? Were we as attentive of our surroundings while at a red light as we were while driving on the highway? There are so many factors that we could take control of that could aid in preventing an accident like this to happen regardless of the other person’s state of being.
“Taking blame” for something like this allows us the opportunity to notice where and how we can become better. This is the difference between wisdom and experience. Experience is going through an event. Wisdom is learning something from that event and incorporating it into our life moving forward.
Getting rear ended by a drunk driver is an experience. No longer checking our phones at a red light because something could happen is the wisdom that comes from having that experience if we make that choice.
This is all great to know, but how can that relate to us as competitors? This idea isn’t specific to an event like a car accident- we can take ownership of our performance on a day to day basis on a micro level, or how we did overall at a competition on a macro level.
We have the ability to debrief with ourselves every day, every week, after every competition, and so on.
Currently, we’re in the throes of our competitive season, so now is the perfect time. If we did the Open and didn’t make it to Quarterfinals, let’s think of where we missed the mark. Did we skip movements or workouts that we didn’t like? Same goes for Quarterfinal athletes who didn’t make it to Semifinals. Why didn’t we? Were there things that were going poorly with our nutrition or sleep? Maybe we skipped handstand pushup practice when we shouldn’t have, or we cut our warmups short.
There are so many factors that can go into our performance in competition and in our daily life. We just have to have the self awareness and discipline to debrief with ourselves, recognize where our faults may lie, and work toward taking actionable steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again. We want to go through experiences, and become wiser because of them.