• Resetting Expectations - By Mike Tuchscherer (PDF version)

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      A while back, I went to go see the movie “Safehouse” with Denzel Washington. Something you should know about me is that I can be a bit picky about movies sometimes. I like movies that have a strong theme. Don’t just blow stuff up and use cool special effects – I’m a sucker for a really great story. Or at least a character that HAS character.

      So when I first saw “Safehouse”, I thought it was okay. It seemed like a fun movie to watch, but it lacked the compelling theme that I really enjoy at movies. Regardless, something about it kept turning over in my head for a while. And probably a week after seeing the movie, I was finally able to put my finger on it.

      Denzel’s character was obviously a great spy. One would imagine that he was one of the best. But if you watch what he does at key points in the movie, it’s not his ability to manipulate people or his tradecraft that makes him so tough to catch. It’s his ability to immediately accept the circumstances around him and make the best decision of his available options.

      Here’s an example. At one point during the movie, Frost (Denzel’s character) is running from some guys that are trying to catch and kill him. He gets away for a while, but eventually the bad guys box him in on three sides. On the fourth side is the US Consulate. You find out later that if he goes to the US Consulate he will be detained and tortured. He’s a super-spy – he knows this already. He’s perfectly aware of what will happen if he goes in that building! But nonetheless, his situation is one that on three sides he’s surrounded by death and on the fourth side, torture. ...more
      Comments 1 Comment
      1. OBoile's Avatar
        OBoile -
        Good article. It reminds me of a facebook debate I got into a few weeks ago. A big strong lifter at an IPF regional championship (somewhere down near Austrailia, I'm not sure what the region is called though) missed his opener squat on depth. He picked a proper opener weight (it went up very easily) and his depth *may* have been okay, but the judging was strict.
        On his second attempt, he did the exact same thing. If anything, it was higher. Red lights again.
        On his third attempt, he went a bit deeper (but not much). Initially he got two reds, but it was overturned by the jury and passed as a good lift.

        While the lifter was obviously a good lifter and obviously had experience (or else he wouldn't be there), he did not make good choices on this day. He would have been far better off if he accepted his situation and realised that the judging was strict. He could have really sank his 2nd attempt (the weight was clearly light enough) to make sure he got it and then taken a modest jump for his third (and also try to sink it deep). He still would have been far short of his goal, but likely would have finished with another 10kg or so on his total (and not come close to bombing out).