”See, that is where you and I are different. I would never put my fate in some else’s hands. That’s why I always win. And you lose.”
– Blair Waldorf
Gossip Girl is one of my all time favourite shows. Those of you who have seen the show will probably understand: it’s iconic. For those of you who haven’t seen it: the show is about a group of upper-class adolescents living in Manhattan’s Upper East Side (New York). They are incredibly rich and the show is full of scandal, gossip and drama.
My favorite character in the show is Blair Waldorf. I consider her as one of my role models: she works really hard to get what she wants and her fashion taste is great. She can be mean and immature but overall, I like her character. In one episode (I don’t know which one) there is some drama going on involving another character on the show named Vanessa. Vanessa comes to Blair for help.
However, Vanessa finds out Blair is also involved in this scandal and is afraid that Blair will only do what is best for Blair. Vanessa takes action to help the situation, only to find out that Blair handled the situation better than her and found an even better solution. Because Vanessa already ruined the opportunity to get the better solution, Blair confronts her. Blair makes it clear that Vanessa should have left the situation to her. She ends the conversation with the following quote:
”See, that’s where you and I are different. I would never put my fate in someone else’s hands. That’s why I always win. And you lose.”
This quote really stuck with me because it hit me. It’s a great piece of advice: if you want something to get done, do it yourself. You can’t trust someone else to do something for you. You can’t trust that another person will get the results you want. You can’t be sure that another person will work as hard as you do.
As a business owner this piece of advice has learned me a lot. I have to work with other people all the time, and I can’t trust them to do anything. This may sound really pessimistic but it’s what I have learned from experience: a lot of the time, I don’t get replies to my emails within a reasonable time (or at all), I constantly have to ask them to do things that they are supposed to do for me, and one of the most stressful things is when a collaboration has ended and I didn’t receive the payment in time which results in me sending emails for weeks to get paid for my work.
In my opinion it is not a good idea to rely on the people I work with. Even though this is quite a negative thought, you have to realize that my life work is on the line when things go bad. It would be horrible to get into financial trouble because the work is not done properly.
I am also kind of a perfectionist so I can’t trust anyone else to create content for me. My life would be a lot easier if I let someone else edit my videos but I always have a vision when I am filming and I can’t trust someone else to transform that vision into a video.
This Blair Waldorf-quote also applies to school on some levels. I definitely made some mistakes by putting too much trust in other people. You can read more about it here. When doing group work, it’s almost irrational to trust the other people in your group if they aren’t as motivated or driven as you. Don’t do the group work all by yourself, but make sure you create a system where you grade each other’s work and give each other feedback or adjust the things that could have been done better. That way, the whole group won’t suffer because of the bad work of one or multiple people.
When studying summaries or notes that are written by other students, always make sure that it isn’t too old (as a law student I have to be really careful of this because the law changes all the time), and make sure that the summary or notes itself is actually good. Some people aren’t that good at picking out the most important things in a text/lecture which will make the summary/notes useless. Always update the old summary/notes with new lecture notes and your book if necessary.
So as you can see, if you want a certain result, you can’t really trust someone else to do it for you. You have to get it yourself. It’s the only way that guarantees the work to be done exactly the way you want it to. Just like Blair Waldorf, I would never put my fate in someone else’s hands, and certainly not after the incident that occurred .
I do have to say, this advice only applies on bigger things like the summary/notes, group work or business projects that I have mentioned, things that mean a lot to you and have to go right. It’s good to trust other people, and there are a lot of things where you can rely on others. However, there are a couple of things that I choose to do myself to get the best possible result.
This article is pretty controversial, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. Do you agree with it, or do you think thinking like this is too negative? Are there things you never let someone else do for you?