One of my guilty pleasures is Netflix. I can stream movies and critically acclaimed shows with one click. I have ability to watch said shows on any device as long as I can connect to the internet.  Technology is amazing.

Currently, my girlfriend and I are slowly getting through the latest season of House of Cards. As a reformed “Netflix binger,” watching one daily episode of an enthralling show pushes my self-control to its limits.

Here’s how Wikipedia describes “House of Cards”:

Set in 2010s Washington, D.C., House of Cards is the story of Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), a Democrat from South Carolina’s 5th congressional district and House Majority Whip. After being passed over for appointment as Secretary of State, he initiates an elaborate plan to get himself into a position of greater power, aided by his wife, Claire Underwood (Robin Wright). The series deals primarily with themes of ruthless pragmatism,manipulation, and power.”

Here are a few adjectives I would use to describe the main character, Frank Underwood:

  • Charming
  • Driven
  • Ambitious
  • Pragmatic
  • Power-hungry
  • Surgical
  • Calculated
  • Manipulative
  • Unempathetic
  • Ruthless

Kevin Spacey places President Frank Underwood in the Netflix Original series, “House of Cards” Source: Netflix

Frank Underwood will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. If you are in his way, your resistance will be met with exponentially greater force.

*SPOILER ALERT for those who have never seen the show*

In Season 5, as he is campaigning for his second term as President, his opponent is winning in the polls. Being unhappy with the current situation, and seeing defeat as a potential destination, he regains control of the situation.

This is when the show reintroduces a quote by Frank Underwood:

“If you don’t like how the table is set, turn over the table”

Make the tough choice

To me, this is a simple, yet impactful quote. If you do not like the options presented in front of you, make your own options.  Regardless of the consequences, you may have to make a tough choice.

It highlights how strategic, calculated, and resourceful President Underwood can be. It also showcases his ability to make a tough choice and face the outcome.

As an adult, you always have a choice. However, each choice has implications and consequences  that you must live with.

Personally, the quote is empowering. It is telling me to take control of the situation by being resourceful. Then, make a choice. Adapt if necessary.

For example:

  • If you do not like your current job, for whatever reason, find a new one.
  • If you do not like your current living situation, move.
  • If you are unsatisfied in your current relationship, move on.
  • If you cannot afford to buy a house in your area, move to a cheaper area.
  • If you do not like how one of your investments are performing, count your losses and move on.
  • If your diet is not working, try something else.
  • If your workout is not yielding the desired results, find a new one.

I understand that the aforementioned statements are over simplifications, but you get the point. You have a choice. It may not be ideal, and it may be an additional choice you resourcefully created, but you have options. Whatever choice you make is up to you. However, be mindful of the results.

If you’ve expended all your energy, time, and effort into something, and it’s failing, make the hard choice. Or come up with another option.

Understand that their will be repercussions for your actions, and make the tough decision.

Don’t become a victim of analysis paralysis. Don’t be a bystander or an observer. Don’t let the fear of the unknown hinder you either.

Ultimately, your happiness is a choice. Whether you have a million choices, or a single option, take action.


Readers, how do you go about making a tough choice? What is your interpretation of Frank Underwood’s quote?