The Russian judge

The Russian Judge

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Someone once said that making a decision is the ultimate power. After all, what you focus on, what its meaning is for you is the thing that gives you emotion and strength to persevere.

Too often, decisions waiver in the face of resistance. We allow ourselves the opportunity to hesitate, procrastinate, and surrender that decision to the wave of powerful pushback.

When I was growing up and the Cold War dominated the news, I remember watching the Olympics and when a US gymnast performed what seemed a great routine and several of the judges gave high scores, there is always the one Russian judge who wouldn’t.

Today, many of us live with that one Russian judge in our head telling us that we can’t do it, the price isn’t worth it and it would be so much easier if only . . . .

Looking back, I know nothing about gymnastics. I was a fan rooting for my home team. It is certainly possible the Russian judge at that time was right in grading that gymnast a low score.

The Russian judge who lives between your ears, however, is a liar who preys upon your weaknesses, whispers or shouts in our ears, telling you the most useless things, trying to corrupt your decision.

Like the grandmother in the Rumi poem, “Your old grandmother says, ‘Maybe you shouldn’t go to school. You look a little pale.’”

Rumi encourages instead, “Pray for a tough instructor
to hear and act and stay within you.”

Most people listen to the voice that encourages them to give up.

You need voices around you that encourage you to persevere.

Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020, 2021, 2023



Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. He is hired to provide No BS Career Advice globally. That can involve job search, hiring staff, management, leadership, career transition and advice about resolving workplace issues. Schedule a discovery call at my website,

He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2500 episodes.

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