The Last Ounce

Life is hard. The days are long. Everything always goes wrong. People want you to fail. Everyone is disadvantaged. The list goes on and on…

The Last OunceLife is hard. The days are long. Everything always goes wrong. People want you to fail. Everyone is disadvantaged. The list goes on and on…

Life is hard. The days are long. Everything always goes wrong. People want you to fail. Everyone is disadvantaged. The list goes on and on. We all have bad days. Some, objectively worse than others. But relatively — we all go through our own ups and downs.

I am fascinated by what we do during the downs. What do we do when stuff goes bad? I think that is a great way to tell a lot of character about someone. Being able to “bounce back” is a super valuable and sought after trait. And while easier said than done — I think that successful people manage to make it happen time and time again. Because no one has it “all figured it out.” Though people seem confident, they are generally just making things up.

When we make things up, we take some risks. We are irrationally confident and inevitably something will turn out wrong. And when it does go bad — days, weeks, months will be tough. In those times, where do we turn for hope. Where do we dig to get that last ounce?

Everyone could have a different answer. I think most of us, however, are unaware of that answer. I think most of us rarely think about the answer to that question. And though, I do not believe there is no objective “right” answer, I do feel that it is extremely valuable for us to think about it, because I feel it says a lot about us.

Where do we turn to get that last ounce? What is our last resort?

We all have biases. We all show our tastes and preferences.

What, however, is your instinct for your last move.

Kobe Bryant is going to keep shooting. Mark Zuckerberg is going to move fast and break things. Those are two examples of people who have great killer instincts. When things go bad, you want them on your team.

As a founder, you want people on your team who are prepared for the worst so much as they are excited to party when you win. We often prioritize for the other way around and do not think about what will happen when things go bad. We think about..”this person is such a good developer. They have so many ideas…etc.”

What I want to know? What do they do when everything fails?


Because everything will fail.

Something will happen.

The bubble will burst.

Optimism is a great thing — but realism is too. In a world that has so many dynamically moving parts, I’d say we all should learn how to deal with change. We should all become masters at adapting, and never get set in our ways.

The last ounce is a fascinating concept. You may be thinking…what do runners start to think about in the final stretch? No. I am not talking about the final stretch. There, you can see the finish line. All you have to do is get motivated by the idea of the end near.

No. I am talking about smack dab in the middle of your adventure. Except, likely, you are actually in the beginning and, even more likely, you feel like you are nearing the end. The lowest point of uncertainty. What do you do?

In the middle of an exam. You feel like you know nothing. You are screwed. What’s your approach for finishing it?

Your parents are coming home in an hour. You have to clean the house. What do you do? What’s your approach?

I think about what I do…I tend to take a step back but move quickly. I ask questions. And then, my biggest bias, is to act. I have a bias towards action. This comes at a huge trade-off — I often haze over details and move quickly.

But it is one that I take as my instinct. Some take the opposite approach — I think both are valid. What, however, is most valuable and necessary is asking yourself and thinking about these topics. We do not have energy/time to live a life without purpose!

Now, I am not saying this to be like “follow me.” I actually enjoy when people share super different beliefs. It helps me learn to defend my own or change mine. I am just saying think more. It’ll change your life.

Originally published at

By jordangonen on April 20, 2017.

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Exported from Medium on February 17, 2018.