Happiness by Deign – Paul Dolan

Happiness can be defined evaluatively or experientially. The two often differ. You may say you are happy to be working in X job, but day to day it may make you feel mostly negative emotion. This writer argues that the experiential definition is superior.

It’s not how long you experience something that matters in terms of memory, it’s the perception of the length of time. If you feel like you spent a day doing admin when really it was 2 hours, you are warping that time in a way that makes your experience ultimately far longer than 120 minutes.

Memories of the past are experiences in the present, so it matters how think back on the past.

Find a way to change what you pay attention to. That is how you affect happiness. There is conscious attention which you can control to some degree and unconscious – day dreams, things that seem to intrude consciousness.

One of the most significant insights from happiness research is that the impact of lfie events fades quickly. We prefer to focus on the novel next thing.

People get unfit when they stop paying attention to getting fit and start to derive more happiness from other areas, like their career. People don’t get unhappy as they get fat. Rather, they get unhappy when they switch their attention away from other things and onto their weight, which often happens later on.

Consciousness is attracted to uncertainty. It’s where fear and excitement exist.

There are three main attentional problems that prevent happiness:

  1. Mistaken Desires
  2. Mistaken Projections
  3. Mistakes Beliefs

Firstly, mistaken desires:

achievement/money as a desire only makes you happier in the long term if you actually attain them, otherwise they make you less happy. Achievement gained by sacrificing your health or personal friendships probably isn’t going to make you happier.

‘Whatever you achieve, try to pay attention to the good bits’

When you have ambition, this involves making happiness dependent on future conditions being met (SIDE: this reminds me a lot of Awareness by Anthony de Mellio, the idea that we do not want to be happy, we use happiness almost as a promise to ourselves to get things we actually want – like achievement etc. Happiness is very often available to us, but we’d rather not have it if it means we are less driven to attain our more tangible desires. This is consistent with an article I read on ‘regrets of the dying’ – people often say ‘I wish I had let myself be happier’ – it is more of a choice than we realise.

SIDE: You don’t even want to be happy. It’s surprising! You might assume you do, but in fact, like many people I bet, you see happiness as over-indulgent and unimportant relative to achievement in various domains, which is what you really value. It also takes a level of self-compassion many people lack to truly want themselves to be happy! This might seem reasonable if you believe meaningful work and self-realisation is more important but….

‘Happiness has wide-ranging benefits & can help with achievement in most areas. Health, relationships, service, arguably even creativity. Even if you attach no intrinsic value to it, it still really matters.’

So, if you’re going to have ambition that you must sacrifice for and want to be happy too, better be damn sure it will make you happier when you achieve it because lost happiness is lost forever. Sometimes it makes sense to delay gratification, but you must be careful with this idea, happiness can be delayed forever! 

Having said that, some things you can aim for really do tend to improve happiness, better daily task-personality alignment, more pay and a decent boss make do all make a difference to happiness.

SIDE: in the chart on a pg it shows happiness by job type, I notice that gardening an floristry are at the top. I have also heard that Kevin Kelly says one of the things you need to do before you die is build your own house and have noticed that this kind of work seems to be more deeply satisfing generally. THEREFORE: a physical craft / outdoor construction is probably a really good hobby to add wholesome, concrete to a human experience that is increasingly transient, digital, intangible.

Secondly, Mistaken Projections

‘Nothing is quite as important as you think it is while you’re thinking about it.’

We are not good at predicting how happy an event will make us.

People rate anxiety and depression about equally with having difficulty walking in terms of their effect on happiness. In fact, anxiety and depression have about 10x more affect.

‘Whatever your own precise focus (whichever filters you see memory through), you’re unlikely to remember the past in ways that are consistent with the facts. What this means is that your inaccurate memories may steer you toward decisions that are not consistent with the future maximisation of your happiness and away from the need to establish the appropriate balance between pleasure and purpose in your life’.

Translation: Your memories are distorted and this can lead you to overemphasise the importance of some things to happiness and under-emphasise the value of others. For instance, you may have worked in sales for a year and you remember it being fun and so you want to work in it another year. It could be that you remember the highest point vividly and that has been given the same weighting in your memory as all the other experiences you had combined. In fact, it might have been 99% grind. If we define happiness in terms of positive emotion over time, then this is a distorted judgement. The same could happen with an overemphasis on the most negative experiences and ignoring the everyday feelings of wellbeing.

Thirdly, mistaken beliefs

‘We are often wrong about the kind of people we are and why we do what we do and the expectations we have and the benefits of accepting who we are.’

The accuracy of self-evaluations isn’t very important as long as they aren’t noticeably detached from reality (e.g. believing you are generous but noticing that you can’t bring yourself to donate money to anything)

We are far more context-driven than we like to think and consistently attribute others behaviour to broad traits while attributing our own to the context. People don’t like to admit that cheating on your partner and success with an exercise plan are heavily context-dependent. About 66% of the variance in exercise workout success is down to non-personal factors, like having a gym nearby. Most men and many women cheat if the context is right (attractive keen friend drunk after night-out) – but not every man get’s that chance.

Mis-alignment of attributes with behaviour is not comfortable. E.g. behaving unconscientious while being ambitious and goal-orientated does not feel good.

In general, it’s better to have modest expectations. Expecting to be very happy is probably a surefire way of not being so.

IDEA: Evaluate your goals, fantasies and expectations of yourself and your life systematically and consider if they are realistic and if you are better off just changing your attitude rather than changing your behaviour. Which aspects of yourself are you not accepting. If they are unrealistic, you are setting up life to be painful when it otherwise could be wonderful. Remember the feeling when you got 98% on that exam? It was so sweet because you didn’t know if you’d even get an A!

IDEA: Based on my ‘distractions’ document and on my meditation month challenge, I have learnt that my inner world is dominated by fear and fantasy and that both of these lead to ‘grass is greener’ style schemes for how to better my conditions. Most of my ideas are abstract, future-oriented, it’s all based on this fundamental premise that ‘things are not as they should be’ and ‘I must find a smart way to get ahead’. This type of thinking generally seems counterproductive and rarely if ever manifests itself in practical action. In fact, it often distracts me from my daily responsibilities which leads to less attainment in every area (including leisure, creative, explorative stuff and work). To some degree, this may be learnt behaviour as my dad also does this a lot. This behaviour is partially driven by inspiration and a high need for cognition in low-stimulation environments, so it’s hard to separate the value from the waste and misery it causes. This style of thinking MAY have genuinely helped me better my life, but of that, I am not sure, since the best ideas seem to come effortlessly often while doing more focused work rather than through idle reflections, in which case there is no added value to sacrificing lots of time and energy for scheming. I have already made a commitment to quitting this style of thinking, but didn’t really address the root cause of this style of thinking which is basically egotistic ambition (ambitions which are not related to the self in some way are more detached from emotion because the outcome of them is not related to your identity, this paradoxically makes less ego-bound endeavours easier to engage with consistently, with perspective and balanced energy, which then leads to success). In other words,  selfish ambition, ego-over-extension, is possibly the cause of much unhappiness in my life and holds me back from attainment. 

Q: What would happen if I lost my egotistic ambition?

My hypothesis, which I’d like to test for a week, is that it would make me far happier and free up my attention and energy for projects, the people in my life, new experiences and my responsibilities. In other words, by desiring these things less, I might actually be present enough to engage with what matters properly. What would be the long term affect of that? A far better shot at happiness, responsibility and ironically, the self-realisation and achievement I wanted all along.

What if to a significant degree, life comes your way and it’s better to take things as they come than try to impose your will on your life and the world? YES – that’s it. One of the characteristics of ego-ambition is that it wants to control outcomes because it makes my happiness outcome-dependent. The strange effect of this seems to be that in a desire to control outcomes to shield and gratify the ego, emotions become aroused that make it harder to attain favourable outcomes.

For instance, when I quit school, I imagined my future self reading books, being fully engaged with them and then applying those ideas directly to a business I was growing. What actually happened is that I felt an overwhelming sense that I needed to prove myself – to myself more than to others – and this made all activities, both work and leisure, unenjoyable.

Basically, egotistic ambition can make you less engaged with the present, which in turn can mean you don’t move towards a favourable future or enjoy your life. So, you double-lose.

Toyota Kata Chapter 2 Notes

How are we approaching process improvement?

Improvement tends to take place at the process level.

I have observed the use of work shops, value stream mapping and above all, action item lists.

Toyota utilizes workshops, but this is not the primary medium for change. When the workshop is over, the process will begin to slip again.

Process level is one level deeper than value streaming. VS is not for process improvement, but to reveal the overall flow of value across the entire end to end system. They are not in depth enough for process improvement, and can reveal so many opportunities for change that they lack focus.

The action list is by far the most widespread. It’s a listing of ideas for improvements to be implemented. This doesn’t work very well. The underlying logic seems to be that the longer the list, the more something positive is happening. Lots of motion, little progress. The list is an unscientific and ineffective method for improvement. It is a scattered approach and often creates more instability in processes rather than less.

The more focused question is ‘what do we need to do to improve this process?’ 1-3 ideas for improvements is better than 30, look for the really big priority things, this is harder. People are rewarded for firefighting not analysing.

Lists make the focus ‘carrying out the tasks on my to-do list’ rather than actually fixing the problem. Plus, people feel smarter when they have lots of ideas. Toyota tries to get people to change one thing at a time in a given process and to review if it worked. Once you’ve fixed one thing, others may become irrelevant. Sometimes you need to make many changes at once, but few people can do that and in order for everyone to be able to do it a single-factor approach is best.

Toyota Kata: Chapter One Notes

Toyota has outperformed comp so well that it has attracted lots of attention. They are doing something differently.

The visible elements, tools, techniques of Toyota have been documented, but trying to copy these has not worked. We have tried to copy the wrong things. Reverse engineering what they do has failed. This is because critical aspects of Toyota are invisible. Toyota’s techniques will not work if there is no underlying logic behind it. Even those in Toyota don’t typically know what this underlying logic is, because it’s like water to a fish for them.

The solutions they develop, such as lean techniques, are not significant, the abstract method used to arrive at that approach is. Specific solutions, such as how parts are organised in the factory, are also not significant. It’s not just about production techniques. The key thing is that they don’t stop improving. The superior results come from CI routines and experimentation.

Trying to reverse engineer gives us an implementation orientation. We need a DIY problem-solving mode, not an implementation orientation.  You only need to know with certainty: where we are, where we want to be and by what means we should maneuver the unclear territory between here and there. There is a lot of uncertainty, the inbetween stage is a grey zone. You do not know what the steps should be, you can’t at this point. People want certainty, but there often isn’t certainty. The way ahead is not set and clear and you shouldn’t try to make it so. True confidence and certainty do not come from preconceived implementation steps and solutions which may or may not work but by understanding the logic for how to proceed through unclear territory.

Small incremental steps. Improvement and adaptation come from the accumulation of small steps. Opportunities to leap forward are already being done by the competition, so that isn’t where the advantage lies. You don’t get ahead with short cuts like that. Cost and quality improvements come from lots of small steps. This makes it hard to imitate and therefore a strong competitive advantage. Periodic improvements are what static organisations do, you need to be continuously improving to get this advantage.

If each process in the company gets improved once a year – that’s ok – but this is not CI. CI means all processes are improved every day at every level of the company, even once target numbers have been met.

Any organised process naturally becomes chaotic over time. Every day small things go wrong. A process is either slipping back or moving forwards. Sustaining still equals slipping if the competition are progressing.

Most orgs do improve, but only periodically and with specialists.

Although many people think certain techniques have made Toyota successful, it is the utilization of the collective skill of the people in the organisation that gives them their advantage. Their ability to identify problems and find solutions. Many people, systematically, methodically making many small improvements every day. That’s the secret. This works partly because Toyota have stabilised processes which can be refined. (SIDE: how significant a factor is this? Outside manufacturing, there are limited processes which are stable enough for small improvements to accumulate)

Improvement must become systematic. Everyone at Toyota is taught to operate in this way and it is applied in every situation. Creating this culture is the task of management.

Toyota’s way is characterised by procedural sequences, thinking and behaviour patterns that when repeated over and over in daily work lead to the desired outcome. The tools they use are developed in this context and should not be thought of in isolation from this backdrop.

‘Kata’ is a word from martial arts, meaning ‘a standard form of movement, a way of doing things, a customary procedure’.

Although things are always changing, an organisation can have a standard way of dealing with that, which helps it to stay in synch – harmony – with changing circumstances.

Kata in this book are not limited to manufacturing. Kata are not principles. Principles don’t tell you how to do something. Kata do.

Improvement takes place at the process level. We need to use big picture thinking to do things like create a car or feed hungry people, but ultimately getting there will require process improvement.

The kata must be embedded in daily procedures. We can’t see what’s coming. The method is prescribed but the content can’t be. Since people are partial, the method must rely on facts rather than opinions where possible – it must be depersonalised.

In this book we will look into two of Toyota’s carter:

  1. The improvement carter
  2. The coaching carter 

People often respond to kata by saying it will prevent creativity. The opposite is true, because there is no content, the only standardised thing is the approach.

 

 

Xenophon’s Conversations of Socrates Book 2

In this book, Socrates is talking with Aristippus – he or his grandson founded ethic hedonism.

Aristippus’ philosophy is that ‘as long as you are clear-headed and single-minded in your pursuit of pleasure, it is not as though pursuing pleasure in this way is making you do anything unwillingly, or making you lose your self-control.’

When you contrast Xenophon’s Socrates’ ideas with those of Aristipuss, the interesting thing is that both hold onto the idea that being in control of oneself is of the utmost importance. They differ in what object you should pursue – pleasure vs. virtue/rule. However, even the hedonist realises that you must be intentional in your pursuit of pleasure, otherwise you’re a slave to it and vulnerable to its trappings. This is the same geezer that fucked loads of prostitutes, dressed up as a woman and danced for fun etc etc. He recognizes that you must live intentionally.

Anyway, back to the book.

Socrates says that discipline over one’s body is a precondition for discipline in other areas, and therefore can render a person either fit to rule or useless. A man should be able to easily overcome lust, hunger, thirst, cold and heat if he is to be fit to govern.

If he can’t do this, he’s more vulnerable to his enemies as he can be tempted, greedy, drunken etc. These are states characterized by a loss of control over oneself and an out of control man is not fit for governance. Lust leads the quail to run into the hunters nets. How many men fall because of drink? It’s not guaranteed he will fall, but the more things he’s dependent on and requires for his sense of comfort and the more areas in which he lacks discipline, the more vulnerable he is to the enemy and to himself.

My thoughts on this? It’s very appealing to see a case for a more ascetic way of living in order for a greater level of focus and performance in the most meaningful and enjoyable domains. I can think of examples that apply to me. Scrolling the internet offers more instant gratification than practicing piano or growing a garden or learning how to write persuasively. If you can’t get a grip over pleasure it will certainly get a grip over you and you will pay for it in full.

This is refreshing and the authority of an old, respected text like this (even though Xenophon is underappreciated) gives it 2400 years of weight.

Socrates here feels like the hyper-dominant, clear talker that I probably needed to be disciplined by as a child and still need now. Something in me is thirsty for this kind of message. It’s saying ‘take up responsibility and control over yourself and forego pleasure for satisfaction, a noble kind of pride’ rather than ‘stop drinking etc, it’s a sin / is bad for you’. The Ancient Greek references to war etc make the message sobering and earthy and makes me want to develop the kind of masculine discipline and exercise of power over oneself and one’s environment.

Socrates is saying ‘drop that BS, there’s something better’.

If we wanted to test this idea, we could ask ‘do the best leaders tend to be in good physical shape?’. If so, this would support Xenophon’s argument. I would make the case that they don’t, and indeed some very disciplined people are overweight, alcoholics etc. Something surprising but true is that people are often more specialist than you’d imagine. The super-disciplined writer, engineer etc might well be a miserable failure in other domains of life due to a lack of discipline. So, Socrates gets it wrong when he extrapolates from physical discipline to other kinds of discipline. What’s more, the guy that focuses on developing discipline over his body will have less attention left to devote to other, more important forms of discipline, such as study or his work.

It is worth noting however that Socrates here says that the reason they must be able to tolerate heat and cold is because many important Greek activities take place outdoors – including war. This means that the modern day areas in which one must develop discipline might be different, and the extrapolation mentioned above was less extreme in the context of antiquity.

The modern equivalent to tolerance of high and low temperatures?

  • Discipline over your computer. (using technology as a tool, not you being a resource that’s being exploited by the technologists).
  • Discipline over distractions in a digital age (overcome distractions which are far more plentiful than they were in Ancient Greece)

However, despite these erroneous extrapolations, I think you can make a pretty strong case that discipline over your own body is a good foundation for developing other forms of discipline. This is the main point Socrates is making here.

It’s blatantly true that if you are disciplined over eating, drinking, exercising, sleeping etc then you will FEEL a sense of satisfaction that comes from this self-control and this confidence will carry over to other areas. Self-efficacy is inseparable from a belief that you are competent. Those that believe themselves to be out of control will become more so, those that demonstrate to themselves and others that they are in control will feel more so. Training is a key idea for Xenophon’s Socrates, and practicing discipline over your body day in day out the way Socrates does surely must be a good basis for developing other kinds of discipline.

And all of these reasons are of course only additional benefits. The primary benefit is better health and energy, which transfers to everything.

It’s also true that many, many otherwise very collected and ‘together’ people are brought down low by their lack of self control over their dicks or by alcohol and drugs, most commonly.

So, Socrates argument still stands today and there’s no excuse not to get control over your damn eating, sex drive etc.


The part of this book that interests me most is this:

‘I have indeed’ said Aristippus, ‘and I certainly don’t put myself in that class of those people who want to govern. In fact, considering that it’s a serious task to provide for one’s own needs, it seems to me to be quite crazy not to be content with this, but to put on top of it the task of supplying the needs of the rest of one’s citizens as well. And when a man has to do without a great many things that he wants himself, surely it’s the height of folly’

He goes on to say how when one takes up a public role, he is a slave to the people and must do what he’s told regardless of whether it is good for him or not.

These words jump out at me because they mirror my own thinking exactly.

It’s the idea of the lifestyle business (business as a solution to the problem of ‘how can I maximize the enjoyment in my weeks’) vs the business that’s about serving customers primarily (business as a solution to the problem of how can I help others).

It’s the idea of working in middle management and aiming for a basic level of financial independence, rather than trying to build serious wealth, because it’s less stressful and provides more occasions for leisure time. (because when you work for yourself you don’t really get ‘time off’, and when you work for someone else you get more security and some truly free time.)

In other words, this is the thinking of the man that wants life to be as ‘easy and pleasant as possible’. In the time this was written, the ‘difficult path’ meant governance.

Aristippus goes on to say he doesn’t want to be a slave nor a ruler but to follow a middle path. I totally get him. You could argue that you’re better off being second to the Alpha male than being the alpha male. The alpha has to fight all the time to maintain his status and is under constant scrutiny and pressure to maintain his position. Second down from him there are none of these pressures and yet still a very generous share of the resources. 2nd down will still have great romantic/sexual prospects, will still get all the other shit too but with less of the pressure. In business, middle management don’t have to work nearly as hard, generally, as senior management. No, they won’t get nearly as much money, but they won’t have all that pressure, either. How much is that worth? A lot, says Aristippus.

 

‘Well,’ said Socrates, ‘if this path of yours that avoids rule and servitude avoids mankind also, there may perhaps be something in what you say; but if while living amoung men you expect neither to rule nor to be ruled, and don’t intend to defer willingly to authority…

he goes on to say that those with power exercise it over those without it in public and private life, often absolutely brutally, and you sure as hell want to make sure you’re a ruler not a subject.

Now, this was written in far harsher times, where slavery was normal (and is what created all the spare time for geezers like this to have these conversations) but you don’t have to be a sociopath to realize that under the surface of all of mans niceties, the powerful do consistently use their power to their own advantage at the expense of the less powerful. No, life in the world into which I was born is not zero sum, thank goodness. But, consider the organisational structure in a company. You may have a team lead by a very pleasant woman. She treats you with respect and you work under one of her assistants. You feel respected and fairly treated. So, in what way is the powerful person ruling over you here? Well, look at how much they get paid. It’s likely they earn 5x more than you. Or, consider a social setting in which you want to go to a music festival with quality music, and they want to go to a trashy festival. If they have more social influence than you, you don’t get to go to the festival you want. There are more sobring examples of power dynamics I could have used but these are everyday things so I mention them.

The powerful still do rule over the less powerful, and the result is that the less powerful have less choices over how they spend their time, what they do with their life, how many children they can afford to have, how much time that can devote to education etc etc. Money can buy your wife special medical care. The ‘middling path’ doesn’t come without servitude of some kind.

Then, Aristippus says that he has a way around this dilemma, and it’s a way of thinking I am very familiar with.

‘I will become an outsider’.

Aristippus says if he takes on no nationality he can avoid entering into social contexts in which he will either be ruled over or have to rule.

This is logic I have seen before. When one is faced with a competitive situation – let’s just say that you’re in school and you all fancy a small number of very attractive girls very much. Typically in this school, the top rugby players do the best with the girls. You notice that getting to the top in rugby is very difficult BUT you still want the girls. So, what do you do? What you don’t do, is you don’t try to compete on their terms, you differentiate yourself. You do not behave submissively around the ‘top dogs’ but treat them as equals, all the while making it clear that you are not threatening in terms of the thing they compete over – in this case stature and rugby skill. Instead, you rely on your uniqueness and cocky rejection of the rules of their game to achieve status, and this very often works. Interestingly, it’s far more acceptable for an outsider to assume this status that it is for an insider, because the outsider, it is assumed, might have something going for him that we aren’t familiar with, whereas the insider is assumed to be just like every other low status insider, whose had ample time to demonstrate their status/ability and hasn’t.

To illustrate where I this Aristippus is coming from further, I will give an example from childhood. When I went skateboarding in the park with my Mexican cousins in Taunton, they were extremely popular with everyone and had very high status, without having to meet the ‘usual criteria’ of being older and very good at skateboarding. Being Mexican (exotic) and having an unusual style consisting of old-school grabs and ballsy carving and drop ins, that both failed to meet and yet transcended the usual forms of measurement of skill, made their confidence seem somehow acceptable. Because they were outsiders, they had some kind of ‘neutral status’. Where my brother and I were virtually spat on, they were praised. This the same thing Aristippus is referring to in Ancient Greece; to be an outsider grants you a certain kind of freedom and allows you to mingle with the people without being subjects of any of them, and without having responsibility of ruler over any of them. Being an outsider has privileges.

I think this might have something to do with the way people are jealous of those that are similar to themselves, not those that are too dissimilar to be relateable. The poor pig farmer is jealous of the other farmer with twice as many pigs, not of the aristocrat that owns the land. This means that it’s easier for outsiders to avoid many of the social rules, barriers etc, that would otherwise impede their rise to the top without meeting the usual criteria.

I think this is something that I have instinctively understood from a young age, as I have enjoyed the freedom of social mobility in school, mingling with different groups, showing relative indifference for their status and hierarchies within groups, and generally it’s served me well and people accept your unconventional behaviour ‘don’t mind him, he just does whatever the fuck he wants, he isn’t a threat because he isn’t interested in competing with us on the terms we care about’.

Of course, nobody, including me, thinks any of this. These are the social scripts we act out when we play the outsider in groups.

 

BUT

Socrates takes the piss of him, pointing out essentially that as an outsider, you are alone and therefore vulnerable. In Strategy: A History  the author explains the importance of coalitions. If you’re smart, you can beat a more powerful enemy once. But, you can’t keep on doing it unless you’re more powerful. Rome conquered the world not with intelligence but with brute power. In the end, those with the most resources win. Put simply, if you are a lone wolf in this world, you won’t have power unless you team up with others.

Consider even a social conflict within a friendship group. There is a heated argument between yourself and a popular person in the group over sexist slur that they have accused you of making. You didn’t say it. Now, you are right, you may be smarter etc, but if they are more liked than you in the group (e.g. have more social power) they might well turf you out of the group. However, what if you find somebody else within the friendship group who has also been accused of a similar slur and who, while not as popular as the accuser, adds a lot of weight to your side of the argument. Now you have a chance of coming out on top.

Again, life is not zero sum, I don’t like Robert Green style thinking about social dynamics, but sometimes it’s useful.

So, VERY LONG STORY SHORT:

 

Socrates has made it clear. You discipline yourself and you compete to gain more control in your life. At some point, the continuation of this will require you to take responsibility for others. This cannot be avoided, or else you forfeit control.

Finally, you might say, like Aristippus ‘I want control over some things in life, such as a reasonable income, sufficient leisure time etc, but other things, such as a business, are not worth the effort and struggle’.

No, Aristippus, the struggle is inevitable, you only get to decide if it’s voluntary and in your control or involuntary and outside your control.

No Aristippus, like Maximus from the movie Gladiator, if you turn down the role of Emporor – if you shy away from responsibility that you could reasonably bear – they you may find someone else takes that role, and things may not turn out how you wish.

I think the underlying message here is: ‘it’s foolish to be emotionally caught up in a specific outcome and not to take control of the process that leads to it’.