Call me Chris.


Audio link for the World According to Chris: Episode 29

I’m watching Super Bowl LV. My Chiefs are stinking it up tonight. No excuses though. We just didn’t come to play. It’s apparent that we are inches away on nearly every play. In the NFL, that’s the difference between winning and losing.

And this overlaps with what I wrestled with discussing the past few days. I’ve been thinking about blame and excuses. It turns out that I get to wrap this topic in with watching my team come up short on the biggest stage.

Blame is an interesting concept. It is built on a premise of expectations and value judgments. This is different than cause-effect outcomes.

In a cause-effect relationship, we can observe behavior and actions through an objective lens. We can see specific factors that impacted the result. When we insert blame, we insert judgment.

The judgments we deliver can be self-imposed. They can also be judgments against others. In each case, this describes a failure to meet expectations. As such, we ascribe a negative value to these shortcomings or transgressions.

While most people—including me—occasionally fall into the trap of blame thinking, it rarely works to our benefit. If you follow my blog, you know I refer to this as “should” thinking. We get mired in what should have happened. This often leads to a vicious spiral.

Instead of the blame game or “should” thinking, we’re only ever able to move forward and improve when we use our “is” thinking.

Watching this disaster of a Super Bowl—at least for my team—I can’t help but be amazed by Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs are down by 22 points with less than four minutes to play. Our hobbled quarterback took a huge shot on a sack a few plays ago. He got up and kept trying. That’s all I can ask out of anyone.

It’s evident to me he is living in the moment. Nothing but the game matters right now. He is not wallowing in blame thinking. At least not right now. Perhaps, he will fall down this rabbit hole sometime this off-season. It would be hard not to. Still, it’s admirable to see such professionalism when things are going so poorly.

If we can accept that we will find ourselves in adversity throughout our lives, we can discard blame thinking and excuses. We can focus on the moment. We can use our “is” thinking to impact those factors in the cause-effect relationship that will produce desired outcomes.

As we try to bring an end to the pandemic that has disrupted our lives over the past year, we will find success once we discard blame thinking. If we are to reunite as Americans who once loved each other, we will do so once we engage in our “is” thinking. Blame is a destructive force. It may even be the root of hate. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to waste on either.

As always, this has been the World According to Chris. Please hit the like button or leave a reply.

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