Play the Game in Real Time
“Present, noun: That part of eternity dividing the domain of disappointment from the realm of hope.” ~Ambrose Bierce
We’re taught to set goals from an early age—to make the team, score well on a test, save for something we want to purchase.
Often though, we’re not taught how to deal with the disappointment if we don’t reach that goal.
Even coaches need coaches and I have a great one (Dan Haygeman) who shed some light on the subject with an analogy.
He likened setting a goal to playing a football game (or basketball, or hockey or any game with a time clock); if the kicker has his eyes on the clock instead of the goal posts, he’ll miss the field goal. Every. Time.
Now, that doesn’t mean the clock isn’t important—it’s a part of the game—but it’s not the game.
The game demands our full attention. We must be fully present in the moment with this play, or that receiver. If we have our eyes glued to the clock it’s impossible to play well.
Watching the clock is generally only important in the closing minutes of any game. And even then, it’s about being aware of the clock, not focused on it.
The clock, the damn clock. Too many of us (myself included) allow it to determine our strategy: quarterly earnings, publishing deadlines, self-inflicted arbitrary goals.
It’s hard to achieve any goal if your eyes are on the clock—they need to be on the game.
The present is the only place the game exists.
Play there and disappointment disappears.