Brain Spill: Deadline Crunch

Okay, so it’s only been a few days since I posted my last (ie, first) column. But for the sake of regularity (every Tuesday), let’s keep on truckin, and talk about perhaps different stuff.

I’m going to be completely honest here. It’s now 11:25, and my column is due by midnight. And this is how much progress I’ve made thus far. And I realize this is no one’s fault but my own. And I didn’t put it off till last minute; I ass-u-me-d that my column posted on Sunday would count for this week, and I would go to the Tuesday schedule next week. Oops.

So, in light of the circumstances, I’m going to write about the importance of performing under pressure. And I don’t mean this in a sexual way (“I don’t know, I just couldn’t perform!”). But if you want to take it sexually, go for it. Anything written is open to interpretation, so have at it.

If there’s one thing that people need to learn, it’s the ability to succeed under pressure and stress. And many people are at their fullest in these situations. There’s a whole worldwide club called the Procrastinators whose job it is to dominate given pressure. I should know.

So where am I going with this? As a reality television nut (ie, problem addict), I can say that I have experience observing people who can do very well with whatever games give them. It’s an overriding principle of science: those which are able to adapt to change are the ones that survive. Or something like that.

Something like this I can only agree with wholeheartedly. People don’t like change; it makes them uncomfortable and puts them in unfavorable situations. So what can you do about it? Oh sure, you could be like everyone, and sit around bitching about it, but where does that take you? Not too far. It’s the people who do something about it who succeed. In a competition (which is what reality TV is), you can’t possibly plan ahead too far, as you need to see what the opposition brings. And you need to counteract it with something better to come out on top. Pretty simple, right?

Not really.

This is why 17 people on Survivor end up losing each season. They are unable to take advantage of what the game brings on. The game is the environment, the challenges, the PEOPLE, etc – anything which alters the way things are normally run. Here’s a few of reality TV superstars who just didn’t quite “adapt”

Osten Taylor (Survivor Pearl Islands) – Here’s an extremely physical, intellectually adept guy. This guy had success written all over his chiseled abs. Problem: other than he was a wimp, he failed to remember that Survivor can cause a physical strain, complete with exhaustion and lack of food. Granted, we all know this, but this loser didn’t, which is why he’s in the loser circle.

Tina Wesson (Survivor All Stars). I realize I’m going to get hate mail for this one, but if it wasn’t true I wouldn’t put it in (ps- I’m a beautiful person, and I only speak truths). In All Stars, Tina did not notice the writing on the wall, saying that she was doomed. So what did she do to try to alter this obvious turn of events? She made an alliance with ONE other person. I would consider myself a math superstar, but even a first grader could tell you that 4 of 6 is more than 2 of 6. The result – a one way ticket to Loser Lodge to hang out with Probst and his crew. In fairness though, she was excellent in the Outback, and I would say is one of the top two women to ever play the game (email me with who I think she’s in competition with for #1, and I’ll let you know if you’re right).

The list can go on, but I think you see my point clearly. To succeed in a competition, you have to be able to perform under pressure. And those who do will come out on top. I’ll use my favorite Survivor winner, Chris Daugherty, as this example. This man dug himself out of more holes than a zombie. He was the OBVIOUS first boot of his season, avoided it. Was hugely disadvantaged in the numbers game, yet avoided that problem. And when it all came back to bite him in the ass at the final TC, he avoided the problem again by bringing someone just as hated with him, and fed people’s emotions for just long enough (ie, minutes) for them to write his name down. And that’s all it takes.

So folks, simple take home message: learn to adapt to pressure and quick changes. Realizing the problem is one quarter the battle’ the other 75% is getting off your ass and doing something about it (which in TV land, purposely doing nothing is considered something. In fact, it’s quite smart sometimes). And you’ll come out on top.

Okay, it’s 11:55. I made it. I realize my second column sucks more than (EDITED FOR CONTENT). But it’s a two fold system. One ultimate goal of Brain Spill is to encourage audience response. I hope that many of you will email me, and try to correct me or prove me wrong. And I am wrong often. So I invite you, if you’re ambitious, to email me and share your brain with me, as I have with you. I will respond to your message, and share even more of my brain. Mmmm…brains.

Until next time, when we discuss the benefits of wire hangers as opposed to the plastic kind which leave wrinkles in the shoulders of you sweater, keep in touch.

-Dora