I remember vividly as I walked into a new school as a freshman in high school where I knew a total of three people. I was very nervous and conscious of what all these new faces thought about me. I had almost made it through the whole day without any issues until an afternoon Health class and I plopped down into my seat and smush. Some animal left a giant wad of gum there to greet me and it was now stuck to my shorts.

Not wanting to draw attention to myself and forever be known as ‘sticky butt’ I decided I was just going to stay glued to my seat until the end of class and wait until all others left ahead of me, which I did. I managed to get most of the gum off my shorts at least so that it wasn’t obvious and it helped that my red shorts blended in somewhat with the gum of choice as well.

But I remember being so worried that someone would see that I sat in the gum and make fun of me. It took me many years later to realize that none of that stuff matters. People are going to like you or dislike you and there is nothing you can do about it. People are going to make fun of you anyway so you might as well laugh at yourself and keep it moving.

Fast forward to today’s version of me and I regularly do things that I know people will make fun of me for – the difference is that I just don’t care what others think about it anymore. Life is more enjoyable when you do not care what others think.

At the Masters tournament a few weeks ago, while sitting down next to one of the holes, I took my shoes and socks off and had my bare feet on the ground. This is a technique called grounding for those familiar and there is significant scientific research that shows that it reduces inflammation and can improve mood and promote relaxation.

But because it might not be considered ‘cool’ or normal, I got a few looks in my direction. One older guy sitting next to me says to his buddy in a low voice “Yeah, he’s ‘grounding’” in a sarcastic voice and was explaining what that was. His buddy ask, “Does it work?” and he responded “Not a chance.”

Now I was able to laugh this off and didn’t think anything of it because that guy means nothing to my life. Grounding feels good to me and I believe there are real benefits to it so I don’t care if others find it weird or funny.

We need to start getting comfortable with others thinking of us differently. We are not trying to be like everyone else. They do not have the life we want. Their opinion is not helping us reach our goals in any way.

The same is true in DFS. There is always a lesson to be learned. Stop caring what your competition is doing. Stop caring what your competition thinks of you. We are not trying to be like them or play like them. We are trying to beat them. Period.

There are a few spots this week that present leverage opportunities to get away from the field.

Ivana Petrovic vs Na Liang

Na Liang is 0-3 in the UFC and was finished in all of those fights. But she is a very explosive fighter early with power on the feet and an aggressive grappling game. We know that a victory for Liang scores big and she is likely not going to be targeted by the field much at all. This is an easy leverage spot as we are only interested in putting ourselves in a great position the few times when she actually does come out on top. Everyone else can think “Well, she always gets finished so you can’t play her much” but we don’t care what they think anyway.

James Llontop vs Chris Padilla

This one is going to seem bad. Llontop is a huge favorite and a misprice on DraftKings. But that does not mean he is incapable of losing. He is going to be the highest owned fighter on the slate and even if I don’t think Padilla is any good, he can still pull off the upset and is going to be one of the lowest owned fighters on the slate. It feels gross but it’s one of the easiest leverage spots and ways to avoid getting duped from the field.

Matheus Nicolau vs Alex Perez

Main events are always popular targets but I think this one is not a necessary fight to attack on DraftKings, particularly on the Nicolau side. That may seem obvious to some but favorites in the main event are going to be popular and even though Nicolau is not a great DFS play, he will likely be owned by a third of the field which is madness to me. He does not have a big ceiling despite the potential for five rounds here. He needs to win by an early finish or he is busting a large majority of the time so I am okay with getting away from the Nicolau side this weekend.

Be willing to do what others won’t so that you can achieve what others can’t.

Best of luck and I will see in the streets.