Remember when you were a kid and a day seemed like forever?
“Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”
“How old are you?”
“Nine and a half?”
“Boy! I can’t wait till I’m 16, 18, … 21”
Think it pretty much stops after that. At some point we stop wanting time to zip by and to get older and we step back and watch both happen at semi-terrifying speed.
What’s it all about?
As I get older I find that I’ve answered this question for myself. I wonder less about why I’m here, is there a God and what’s the meaning of life.
Not that I have the definitive answer mind you, but I do feel that my current answers to them are satisfying to me.
They are my own.
I have given conscious thought to the questions.
I’m open to new perspectives but I’m not actively searching anymore.
You see I think life is best lived as if it were a game, and like any game there are rules, team mates, coaches, competing players and an end where you either win or lose.
And yes you can lose the game.
That’s what makes the game exciting.
Living your life as if it were a game, a game where you must set your own objectives, learn the rules, (so you can break them well) and have the thrill of seeing your score improve is the source of fulfilment, passion and joy.
Living your life as a game—that you are consciously playing—forces you to build the skills, acquire the resources (money and relationships) that you need to win.
The earlier you start playing the better
The difference between becoming a virtuoso and merely competent. You can see it in the people who are at the top of their fields in almost every endeavour.
All of the giants started very young.
But it doesn’t matter if you weren’t playing hard before.
As long as you play hard now
The most important thing, regardless of when you start, is to play. Play all out; like your life depends on it.
And yes that does mean taking responsibility for when you drop the ball, miss the shot, or worse … don’t turn up for practice.
Don’t sugarcoat your failures, especially when you just didn’t persevere, gave only lip service, or choose comfort and safety over winning your game.
I’m sick of hearing all of the self-help foo-foo masters talk about not beating yourself up for not following through.
You should beat yourself up!
If you didn’t achieve it, learn it, get it done when you said you did, let your team-mates down, then acknowledge it, feel the sting of it.
But then be done with it and get back in the game.
2013 is a symbolic new beginning
January 1st really is no different than other day, but it does offer a symbolic cleansing; a once in a year opportunity to forgive yourself for not playing, and to resolve to get back in the game.
I wish you a great game plan, a great coach and teammates—because you can’t do it alone.
May your game plan recognise your strengths, identify the things that you will NOT do, and focus on two or three big things you will get done in 2013.
Turn up for practice every day (there are no days off, just different routines on different days).
May you play your game like you’re playing for the championship.
“It is not the critic who counts, not the ONE who points out how the MIGHTY stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man OR WOMAN who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if S/he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that hER place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.”