Trust Everybody, But Cut the Cards

Always cut cardsEveryone loves card tricks. The sleight of hand captures our attention. As a result we fail to see the trick. In fact, misdirection distracts us from what really happened. In short, you should always cut cards when playing. No matter who is at the table, when you cut cards, you exercise control.

Our adage today focuses on an unpleasant aspect of human nature. To explain, we want to trust people. For this reason, we will overlook red flags a friend or confidante exhibits. Such as how they will exhibit a slight tic when you bring up a certain topic. Our desire to trust trumps our sense of concern over what we saw. In due time we’ll take up an adage of trusting your lying eyes. Until then, we’ll stick with why you always cut cards.

How do you always cut cards

In this instance, “always cut cards” is shorthand for verifying what you know about a situation. When playing card games, you cannot be certain that the deck has not been stacked. Cutting cards mitigates against such chicanery. When you cut the cards, you assert a measure of control over the game.

In the same way, you can choose to metaphorically always cut cards in every decision you make. There are a few simple steps you need to follow.

First of all, take a moment to clear your mind of emotion. Whenever we struggle to check our feelings, we are at risk for deception. When we slow down and calm our mind, we can think more clearly about the moment.

Next, review what you know. Occasionally, we confuse what we think with what we know. This is a crucial mistake. Generally speaking, people tend to project what they want onto a situation. Such speculation has a place in decision-making. However, confusing facts and feelings never helps.

With this in mind, quiet your ego. Ryan Holiday’s study of ego’s detrimental effects is worth your time and energy. Your ego advocates for what feels best. However, what feels best rarely equals what is best.

Finally, look at the situation with a clear mind. Now you can perceive your own interest, devoid of emotion. With this in mind, you now can map out an effective strategy. You have now taken control of a fluid moment.

Always cut cards when you feel suspicion

Our unconscious mind is so powerful. Accordingly, we tend to underestimate it. Namely, we ignore funny feelings. Because we cannot explain the feeling, we dismiss it. As a result, we end up ignoring something crucial.

As an example, I made this very mistake. Not long ago, I felt uncertain at my job. I could not explain why I felt this way. Instead of examining this feeling, I brushed it off. Consequently, when a major reorganization was announced, I was unprepared. As soon as I heard the news, the connection between my feeling and the news became obvious.

That in a nutshell is why you always cut cards. Taking time to review and understand what sparks your suspicion ensures you don’t get caught unaware. Don’t make the mistake I did. When you feel suspicion, trust the people around you, but always cut cards.

Always cut cards when you don’t feel suspicion

On the other hand, sometimes you don’t feel a tingle of doubt. Instead, you feel good about the situation. Your choices are clear. In spite of your confidence, ambiguity still exists. It may hide for awhile. Thus, our confidence can trick us.

Should you find yourself in a moment of supreme confidence, stop and re-evaluate immediately. We value confidence in the right moment. However, overconfidence blinds us to obvious realities. That’s why we always cut cards.

We derive power from seeing the world as it exists. When we make always cut cards a rule in our lives, we reinforce our commitment to perception over judgment. No matter what you feel, what you think or what you know, always cut cards.

This entry was posted in Strategy. Bookmark the permalink.