Someone retweeted a short video from TV show host Jimmy Kimmel in Spring 2020. Apparently, Jimmy was replying to an insult that had been lobbed at him by President Donald Trump the day before.
I watched the 2-minute clip to see what Jimmy had to say; he’s been prominently outspoken against the Trump administration since the beginning.
This video was not much different, as Jimmy did his best at a dignified reply, which was respectable and forgettable at the same time… until Jimmy ended the video with a joke-insult lobbed back at Trump.
Which is where Jimmy blew it.
I don’t know the relationship between Trump and Kimmel (if one even exists at all), but I do know that Trump’s political brand has been consistent: insult people via Twitter, each tweeted grenade consolidating his base.
He’s damned good at it, like it or not.
Jimmy Kimmel has given impassioned speeches and targeted monologues aimed at Donald Trump for awhile. I don’t watch Kimmel’s show, but judging by the sheer number of Trump-targeted monologues listed in a YouTube search, I’ll assume that Jimmy’s audience likes them.
When people throw insults at President Trump, it makes me think back to the months after the 2016 election and how the “resistance” was the call to action.
Whatever he stands for, we’re the opposite.
When he goes low, we go high.
As of this writing, it’s been nearly 4 years. Trump now has everyone playing his game.
They’re insulting him. Name calling. Replying to his tweets with their own snark.
Problem: Trump is a pro at that stuff, and he has the biggest megaphone of anyone. Even when you win with a better joke, you cue up more attention to his next reply.
What happened to the moral high ground of be-better-than-he-is?
As a basketball player, my defensive strategy was to always identify what my opponent liked to do, then force him to do the opposite.
If he liked playing slow, I forced the pace.
If he liked an up-and-down, high paced style, I slowed the game down.
If he was a scorer, I wouldn’t let him get the ball.
If he liked to dribble, we’d double-team him so he had to pass.
The last thing I ever wanted to do was play the opponent’s preferred style — even if I could beat them at it: Beating them at their own game was a physical victory, and those tables can turn very easily when everyone is highly skilled.
Beating an opponent at a game that they didn’t even want to play is a mental victory, after which that opponent may never want to play against you again.
Physical victory (their game): cutting a branch off a tree
Mental victory (their anti-game): digging up the roots of a tree
The whole point was to get into the psychology of the opponent and beat them mentally — after which, the physical part is easy (if I even needed it).
Trading insults with President Trump (who has the largest platform anyone could ever have) is like playing Shaquille O’Neal one-on-one with a strategy of “using your strength and power.”
It won’t work. Even if strength and power is your best attribute.
Good strategy always aims to take the opposition’s legs out from under them. Achieve that, and your job is easy.
Bad strategy — or no strategy — is to only do what you do, with no regard for disarming your opponent. If you’re skilled enough, you might win anyway, which only makes you more confident that you can get away with not strategizing… until you can’t anymore.
Then you’re unprepared.
Never play your opponent’s game. Find out what it is, only to make them do the opposite.
This strategy requires personal discipline, which is why I’m making my book The Mirror Of Motivation FREE right now.
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Be sure to check the following MasterClasses on this topic —
#1486: Why People Fail To Plan & Strategize
#1285: How To Strategize Your Success
#1284: How To Keep Your Hopes Alive
#991: Greatness Is Greedy — Are You?
#990: How To Raise Your Opinion Of Yourself
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