Don’t hate the player! Hate the game!

Over years, I noticed that people develop a grudge against coworkers or their bosses.

Often, if not always, this is caused by others goals and job constraints.

Example: “I deserved a promotion, but I didn’t get it because HE/SHE THINKS I DIDN’T DESERVE IT”. Usually this is caused by manager having budget and needing to play bonus allocation tetris AKA calibration. Probably (most likely) if he didn’t have these constraints it would look differently.

Another example: “I hate this guy. He is always against me.”. The reason why somebody oppose an idea is usually because of reasons. Reasons are caused by constraints a person operates in, and past experiences.

Of course somebody may just not like you. That happens too.

Maybe I’m the luckiest employee in the World, but over 7 years I didn’t have boss that sucked. Did I work with some people who didn’t like me? Probably, but I was always focused on solving problems, and cared less about their personal feelings. It also happened to me that I didn’t get promotion/bonus when I deserved it. However, after digging in, I understood why, and it was because of constraints others operated in.

A few years ago, while learning about AI from Peter Norvig (director of research at Google), I learned about Paradox of Rationality – people making rational decisions often end up with worse outcome if they would make irrational decisions. This is foundation of game theory, and obviously happens in life. Did you see irrational outcome coming out of congress lately? Do you think it’s because politicians are stupid? Maybe it’s because of how the game is setup?

Don’t hate the player! Hate the game! Your life will be better 🙂