Disadvantages

We’re going to the dictionary for this one:

Disadvantage, /disədˈvan(t)ij/, noun

“an unfavorable circumstance or condition that reduces the chances of success or effectiveness”

The thing about disadvantages that seems to elude many people these days is that they’re natural. They will inevitably occur wherever life itself occurs. In nearly every competition which has ever taken place, there has been a favorite and an underdog. And make no mistake, simply being alive and keeping oneself that way is a competition in and of itself. If you also wish (as most of us do) to find love, personal fulfillment, and material success, well…. boy howdy, you’ve already entered yourself into one hell of a difficult contest, whether you realize it or not. In this contest, as in all others in which you may find yourself, you will have a number of factors which play to your favor and others which will work against you. Some of these are fickle and will come and go, such as the state of the housing market if you’re a real estate agent. Some are constant and will stay with you your whole life, such as a physical disability. Regardless, we all know that life isn’t fair; it can’t be. To deny this or to believe it can be changed is, in no uncertain terms, to practice a most serious form of self-deception. 

Let’s look back to the definition again. A disadvantage is something that “reduces the chances of success”. It is not something that makes success impossible or, in some cases, even improbable. If your disadvantage causes your chance of success to drop from 70% to 55%, it is still more likely than not that you’ll be successful! In the same way, if your disadvantage means you have a 10% chance of success, whereas someone without your disadvantage has a 25% chance, you are both still likely to fail. 

Essentially, the message I’m trying to convey is this: being at a disadvantage is not a reason to abandon hope, or an excuse to give up before you even start. If it irks you to hear that, if you think your particular case is different, check yourself. Why? Because underdogs win all the time, when they (a) work their ass off in training, and (b) play their fucking heart out when game day arrives. And sure, sometimes their victory is due in part to the superior team having an off-day; but if you’re that underdogif you’re at a disadvantageyou still need to show up prepared and ready for a battle on that fateful day when your opponent’s luck finally runs out. Every minute you spend bemoaning the obstacles in your path and complaining that others won’t lift a finger to make your game more fair, is precious time that ought to be spent on development and strategy that could—no, not could, willone day make your opponent’s advantage count for nothing.

 

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