Fire all your weapons at once

Prepare the alpha strike

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For any performer, there’s a tendency to pile on the firepower.

To max out. To use all your weapons at once in a symphony of destruction.

It’s a natural response to a high stakes situation. You so badly want to be noticed and heard and liked and remembered, that you try to do too much. War gamers and military operations call this type of strategy an alpha strike, which is a massive, all out attack organized into one mission against a given target.

The problem is, while it’s effective for achieving power and surprise and deadliness, it’s still a risky move. Firing all your weapons at once can drain your ammo, leaving you overextended and vulnerable. Like the rookie quarterback who responds to competitive adversity by trying to do too much too fast, rather than playing within himself. It’s a form of greed, and it almost always backfires.

I have a musician friend who was recently hired to perform in front of a large international audience. It was his first gig outside of his home country, and five minutes before showtime, he was shaking like a shitting dog. Of course, the performance went well. The audience cheered and laughed and oohed and ahhed.

The only problem was, he was so focused on blowing the audience away, that he lost sight of the clock. His show went fifteen minutes over time. And everyone in the room knew it.

Woops. So much for getting rehired next year. Lesson learned, don’t fire all your weapons at once. Spread them out over several impulses. Trust yourself. Enjoy an adventure in restraint. Feel comfortable in that place of patience, and you’ll earn the right to take shots again and again.

Where are you trying to do too much to fast?

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* * * *

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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