"Own your outcomes."
It might not sound like it, but this is "control the controllables" in disguise.
The sooner we learn that most things in life are not in our control, the faster we can determine what these things are and give up our desire to control them. This will free up energy to direct towards impactful action.
Fortunately, baseball players are familiar with this battle and learn this lesson early. We don't focus on the weather, the umpire's blown calls, or the bad hops of variance. We don't say:
"I can't believe we're playing in this rain."
"Where did that one miss?"
"That was a cheap hit."
Dalio might not have played, but he gets it:
"Whatever circumstances life brings you, you will be more likely to succeed and find happiness if you take responsibility for making your decisions well instead of complaining about things being beyond your control."
Knowing this, we still invest too much of ourselves in things outside our control. This wasted time and energy could be better spent on things we can actually influence. I'm not just talking about physical and mental preparation, attitude, and execution. I'm talking about creating specific, actionable plans that drive our response to things beyond our control.
Let's take the weather as an example. We don't need to lose command in the rain, shiver in the cold, or wilt in the heat. Instead, we can look at the forecast and prepare.
We can practice taking the signs with our body acting as a roof above our hand, preparing a method to keep our fingers dry in the rain.
We can pack a pair of gloves and start our warm-up early in the cold.
We can hydrate in advance and drink extra water between innings in the heat.
'Control the controllables' is not an excuse to forget about results. It's an appeal to focus more on the quality of inputs than on the random variance of any single outcome, understanding that in the long run, great inputs will lead to great outcomes.
We don't prepare for preparation's sake. We prepare to dominate.