This is Episode 96 of the After Gambling Podcast, and in this episode, we are going to talk about reflection. [Music] Hey there, and welcome back to the After Gambling Podcast. You know me; my name is Jamie, and I am glad to have you here with me today. As we come to the end of the year, as I’m releasing this, it’s December 30th of 2022. The end of the year always brings about reflection, reflecting back on the last year. I know I’ve talked about this a lot on the podcast, about how I didn’t always like year-end reflections. And this year is an interesting one, and I want to talk about that.
Well, first, I want to share a poem about reflection. It’s interesting; this poem came on my radar, and it’s amazing how our brains connect dots, and all of a sudden, we remember things from our past. This was a poem that I believe is on the wall of my father’s coaching office. He was a football and wrestling coach, and there’s always motivational stuff, and we also had this book. I forget what it was called, but it was just full of motivational or inspirational poems. I always liked to look at that as a kid, but there was this one that stood out, and I believe it was on the wall. It’s called “The Man in the Glass.”
So, it starts: “When you get what you want in your struggle for self, And the world makes you king for a day, Then go to the mirror and look at yourself, And see what that man has to say. For it isn’t a man’s father, mother, or wife Whose judgment upon him must pass. The fellow whose verdict counts most in life Is the man staring back from the glass. He’s the fellow to please, never mind all the rest, For he’s with you clear to the end. And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test If the man in your glass is your friend. You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years, And get pats on the back as you pass, But the final reward will be heartache and tears If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.”
It’s by Peter Dale Wimbrow Senior. Quite a name, but yeah, the poem’s called “The Man in the Glass” if you want to look it up. But anyways, this kind of, as I said, came on my radar. I was having this brilliant thought. I often have these brilliant thoughts. You’re probably the same; you have these just once-in-a-lifetime thoughts where you’re like, “Wow, I wonder if anybody’s ever thought of that.” And my thought this past week, and I’m struggling to remember what triggered it, was this concept that it doesn’t matter how much other people think we’re doing well. Ultimately, the only person, the judge and jury in our minds, is ourselves because we can get success in life from monetary success or acclaims from other people, awards, recognition, all those things. And yet, if we don’t feel like we did our best, that we cheated the system somehow, or if we know that we had more to give… And I think that’s really the biggest one that I run into so often, is when I know I have more to give, it just feels uncomfortable, almost to accept that recognition, right?
And so, yeah, it’s funny, obviously on the heels of this, you can see where this is going. I was thinking how brilliant this idea was. I wonder if anyone’s ever thought of the idea that it really comes down to, it’s only ourselves that is truly that most important judge, the most important person, as the poem says, to have is your friend because otherwise, nothing. So many times we can get into these headspaces where nothing else matters. And so, I quickly finished thinking how brilliant I was, and then I was reflecting back on this poem. I was like, “Wait a second, that poem, ‘The Man in the Glass,’ what was that about?” And I pulled it out, and obviously, you’re probably thinking of all sorts of other things, Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” and there are countless examples from poetry, music, and just life stories, fables, tales that we have about this concept. So, it’s kind of hilarious to me that I thought, “Oh gosh, I have this brilliant thought. Jamie, way to go, make sure we write up something on this.”
But the important thing is not that it’s brilliant or unique, and I think actually, the important thing is that it’s not unique at all. It’s something we all feel and we all have gone through. And I think having these poems, these stories, these songs to reflect on really helps us to come back to center and realize that it is just doing our best. It’s really one of the most important metrics, and ultimately, I think this is at the heart of why we feel so much internal angst and struggle when we’re gambling, or anything else in life where we’re putting on one front, where we have a mask that we put on and face the world with, and try to present to the world, while knowing the reality is a different thing altogether. We can fool the world, as it says in the poem. I mean, you can get pats on the back and praise and accolades from the world, but when you look in the mirror and you know that you had more to give, that you could have done more, or that you cheated a system, you cheated, you cut a corner, and maybe the client didn’t realize it, maybe they’re happy with the final product, but you know that you could have done something a little bit better, or that you should have done something better, or maybe they think that you did something better. And that, I think, just eats at us.
And that’s why, as I’m looking back on this year, it’s interesting because I reflect back on a year that was, by all counts, more successful than any other business year that I’ve had to date. And so, it’s really cool, and yet, I look at certain projects, and I know that I did a really good job, and the client was really happy with them, but I’m thinking, “Hmm, I was a little bit distracted. I was struggling.” There are some projects I really struggled with. And that’s true of all projects; we struggle, and we get through them. But it’s like, “Man, what if I would have blocked out this other distraction I had at that time? Or what if I would have just spent a couple more hours preparing for that project or doing a little bit more research into how I could solve a specific problem more efficiently?”
And so, we’re always in this constant tug-of-war, I think, with ourselves and trying to pull out the best of ourselves. And ultimately, I think this is one of the things that make us humans elite. I mean, we are really at the top of the food chain for a lot of reasons. And I think this inner drive, I don’t know what it is, but we all seem to feel that no matter what we do, it’s almost not good enough. And I don’t want to say that in a negative way. I don’t want to say that we’re never going to be happy with ourselves. But I think it’s really important to find this balance of, “Okay, I did my best, but I can do better.” And I think that’s where the growth mindset comes in, right? It’s saying, “Okay, I did my best today. I’m going to do even better tomorrow.”
And so, as I’m reflecting on this past year, I’m really trying to figure out how can I take this year and just build on it, and continue to do better, continue to grow. And I think this is a question that we should all be asking ourselves, especially at this time of year. How can we do better? How can we continue to grow? And I think, as I’m looking back, and I think this is true for everybody, we can always look back and find things that we could have done better. But I think it’s also important, and I think this is something that I’ve tried to do in the past, is to look back and find those things that we did really well, and make sure that we continue to do those things well. And maybe even, as we’re looking at those things, how can we do those things even better?
So, as we’re coming to the end of the year, I really want you to take some time and reflect, and not just look at the bad, but look at the good. And think about how you can take the good that you did this year and build on it, and do even better next year. And I think that’s the challenge that we all have. It’s not just looking at the bad and trying to fix the bad. It’s also looking at the good and trying to make the good even better. So, I hope that you’ll take some time and reflect as we come to the end of the year, and I hope that you’ll continue to listen to the After Gambling Podcast as we go into the new year. And I really appreciate all of you for listening, and I hope that you’ll continue to join me on this journey as we go into the new year. Thank you so much for listening, and I’ll talk to you next time.