I wrote about the confidence/certainty mix in Where’s My Oasis using this analogy:

Why does a fit, strong, aggressive, young man who has no martial arts training (‘Young Grasshopper’) lose when he faces an old Master? What has the Master learnt as a result of all of his training? He can’t turn back time, or make himself sprightlier, and yet he has rendered it virtually impossible for the young man to win.

The late, great Chee Kim Thong

The old Master knows all about balance, breathing, attitude, distance, timing, targeting, blocking and the efficient generation of force. There are other factors, but those eight are the keys to determining victory in a hand-to-hand fight.

So, a truly skilled martial arts expert faced with a belligerent amateur has the odds massively stacked in his favour. It is as if both parties were holding eight dice (to represent the determinants): the Master only loses if he rolls eight ones and the amateur can only win if he rolls eight sixes. Not impossible I grant you, but highly improbable.

There is another, less tangible, ingredient X, here. The Master knows that he is going to win. He knows what is going to happen when he punches his opponent in the solar plexus. He knows that his fist will be properly formed, he knows that his stance will be strong and that his waist will co-ordinate the punch to increase its power. He knows exactly where the solar plexus is and that he will not miss. He knows that his opponent will not be capable of withstanding the blow. There is no cockiness, no arrogance here, just the certainty born of hard training. His opponent, on the other hand, is throwing out a badly-formed fist and merely hoping for the best. I know who I’m betting on.

Wouldn’t it be lovely to walk into an interview (presentation / negotiation / meeting with the CEO) with that degree of certitude? To know that there is nothing that they can ask you that you haven’t anticipated and prepared for. Some people have that surety. I call them Bogeymen. Fortunately, Bogeymen are rare. I hope you never come up against one. More to the point – I hope that, as a result of reading this book and refining your approach to managing your career and any job-hunts you may need (or want) to undertake, you become the Bogeyman.

Part 1 on this topic is here.
Part 3 is here.