I’m trying to rent out two rooms in my house so I have a roommate ad on craigslist. I get phone calls from all kinds of people. Some of them can only afford one of the rooms. Some of them don’t really want a roommate but can’t afford to live alone. One couple emailed me from Berlin. I had a very long, enjoyable conversation with one man and we made an appointment for him to come to look at the house.

He didn’t show up.

I had another very long, interesting conversation with a man who had been an accomplished martial artist. This guy had so much confidence in his skills that he never thought about his upcoming opponent. He didn’t want to know about his opponent. It would only take his thoughts away from what he had to do at any given moment in the match. It would be a distraction to him. If he was prepared, it didn’t matter who he was fighting, he should win.

During preparation for a match, he sprained his ankle badly. He kept on training and his ankle healed enough to fight but it wasn’t completely healed. He knew that his opponent had heard about his injury and would attack him low to go for his bad ankle.

Just before the match, he taped up the ankle that was not injured and left his bad ankle untaped. His ankle held up through the fight and he won pretty handily because he already knew his opponent’s strategy. An excellent example of turning a competitive liability into a strength.

He didn’t show up either.

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