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Rule #1 In Life, Business and HR: Don't Tempt Fate By Talking Smack...

Rule #1 in life, business and Human Resources is pretty simple:  Don't tempt fate by talking smack.  You stay humble because you know how tough life is.

Here's what I mean.  You're living your life, and things are going pretty well.  You don't tempt fate and put a target on your back by talking smack and judging the performance of others, the life circumstances of Big three2 others and basically taking a "holier than thou" attitude.  You don't do that in business or Human Resources, and if you believe what I'm talking about, you don't do that in life either.

The Miami Heat and Lebron James talked smack.  Lebron dismissed the whole city of Cleveland in an ill-advised televised special saying he was leaving Cleveland and going to Miami.  When he arrived in Miami, the Heat held a celebration reserved for championships (this one was held before the season started), rose their 3 stars up on a smoke-filled stage on a rock-concert lift flexing and posing, then the three stars proceeded to say that 7 championships was the goal and expectation. (Their contracts said they would be together for 7 seasons).

Translation: Tempting fate.  Putting the target on your back.  Refusing to stay humble.

The focus on staying humble manifests itself in three ways in my life.  When I catch myself judging people and feeling good as a result in my thoughts, I'm quick to note that it could all turn around on me as well.  When I catch myself saying or almost saying something self-serving regarding my performance or state in life, I cringe.  And god help me if I put something self-serving in print to be forwarded at the will of those who received a wayward email of questionable intent.

You and I are far from perfect.  But most of us have at least some self-awareness.

Talking smack is never in your best interest.  You don't tug on Superman's cape.  You don't spit in the wind.  Fate and paybacks are a bitch.

Lebron James and the Miami Heat talked smack.  Then they lost the championship on Sunday night.  Does this quote from the post-game news conference sound like someone who has learned that tempting fate is never a good idea?

"Moments later, however, he (Lebron James) trash talked those that were happy to see the Heat lose, ignoring that they brought all that on themselves. 'At the end of the day, all the people that was rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today,' James said. 'They have the same personal problems they had today. I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that. They can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal, but they have to get back to the real world at some point."

It's not you, it's them - right Lebron?  Haters. 

And so fate remains out there for the Heat.  Will they win six championships now?  Or will the reluctance to understand Rule #1 prevent them from winning a championship forever?

Dallas is your NBA World Champion.  Even if you don't like sports, you have to admit two things as it relates to Rule #1.

Justice is served.  Fate is a bitch.



Steve Boese

I knew the haters would come out in full force today...

Seriously while I agree that all the hype, premature smack talk, and strutting the Heat did before they ever played a game were definitely over the top, let's not be too quick to portray the millionaires on the other side of the court as the second coming of Gene Hackman's Hoosiers team. In fact, Jason Terry even tattooed the NBA championship trophy on his arm before the series started.

But my main point is despite all the bluster it really seemed to me that Miami played scared most of the series, almost as if they did not truly believe they could win. Dallas consistently maintained their confidence and swagger throughout the series even when they had plenty of reasons, (especially last night), to fold up. So even after all the talk, Miami not only did not convince all of us they were champions, it seems like they did not even convince themselves.

Knicks in 2012 - you heard it here first...


Words to live by indeed.
Great post KD!


I think the perfect metaphor for LeBron in these times is the sneering James Spader/Craig Sheffer characters in the John Hughes movies of the 1980s....the rich, well-to-do individual who thinks he deserves the girl at the end, rather than work for it.

Matt Landrum

And you don't mess around with Jim.

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