“It’s a dirty game so whatever is effective
From weed to selling ‘cane, gotta put that in effect.” — Jay-Z, “Minority Report”
Welcome to the first installment of my weekly column, “What Would Hov Do?,” where I, your trusted scribe and internet life coach, will steer you clear of the D’Evils with the help of Jay-Z lyrics.
Our first week’s question comes from a reader we’re gonna call ROI (return on investment, for those not in the know).
How can I match my effort with my results (return on investments)?
Ahhh, good question. Also, a timely one. During this period of the ‘Rona, many of us have been trying to ensure that the effort we put into the things we want will result in our desired output.
Hov’s bars remind us that we’ve gotta do whatever we’ve gotta do to get where we wanna go. On “Minority Report,” off the Kingdom Come album, Hov speaks to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the picture painted of those who were born and raised in desolation, looting their neighborhoods as an act of desperation. When the odds are stacked against us, we’ll do whatever we need to do to survive.
But in the context of now, “It’s a dirty game so whatever is effective,” also applies to the intentional choices we make to reap the rewards of our work. I say intention because here’s the reality: If your intention — if your heart — is in the right place, even if the results are less than favorable, you’ll still be in a position of success.
We also get to define our success. And we get to move the goal posts, too. Let’s say you sought out to get your business up and running by the end of 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic probably changed that a little. Far too often, we’ll be out here focused on the result of the work instead of paying attention to the actual work — the process.
The work gets to shift along with the outcome. So, if you projected you’d have all your paperwork filled out by a specific point in time, you’re not a failure if the projected conditions you imagined to facilitate that work happen to shift. We don’t always control that. To Hov’s point, all we can do is what is most effective given our circumstances. While Hov speaks to drug activity on the track, his lesson also nods to what it looks like to work within any condition.
Let’s face it — sometimes we don’t have the energy for the effort, which may result in an outcome we’re not really messing with. That’s cool. We get to dust ourselves off and try again (I’ve wanted to use that Aaliyah lyric forever). So we gotta be like Hov — keep ya’ eyes on the prize and do whatever will be the most significant thing to get you where you need to be, all the while being mindful of the circumstances that ultimately will affect that process.
Hope that helps. If not, don’t blame me. Blame Jay-Z. In the meantime, see y’all next week. Feel free to submit your WWHD questions here.
P.S.- For the newbies out there, feel free to get familiar with some of my previous Medium work here. And here. Oh, and here too. Be sure to follow the kid on Medium for all the latest and greatest updates!