One of the key marks of a great basketball player is the pace he plays at. The best players aren’t always fast or always slow. They have the ability to vary their pace from game to game, possession to possession, or even dribble to dribble.
Their pace itself isn’t as important as their awareness of the pace.
Given awareness, they can choose what’s best for each situation.
Void of awareness, they simply become a reflection of their current environment.
The same can be said for our lives.
Why Should We Care?
What pace do you live your life at?
It’s a question most have never considered. We just live.
Going from one thing to the next without considering the effect of the pace of our lives on ourselves and those around us. But, it has an impact - often a significant one that we would benefit from gaining an awareness of.
The first group is the sprinters. The sprinters are going full speed in whatever direction they are pointed. They could be hell bent on doing and experiencing as many things as possible in the one life they have - YOLO, for those of you of the right age. But, this group isn’t limited to reckless risk takers.
There are also sprinters consumed with achievement, climbing the ladder, and collecting as much as they can. This group is usually successful by society’s standards and is consumed with ‘earning’ their worth. Enough isn’t a thing and fulfillment is always on just the other side of the next accomplishment.
The second group are meanderers. The meanderers are never going full speed. Their direction is irrelevant because of how futile any effort is. They typically cover a wide spectrum of emotion, from appearing to be happy and content to signs of being adrift and resentful.
Meanderers are viewed by sprinters as lazy, uninspired, and underachievers. Society typically agrees and supports this perspective. Hence, the pride and glory so many associate with working long hours at the expense of spending ‘down’ time with family or loved ones.
The good news is, we don’t have to operate solely in either group. Life is best when lived between the two extremes. There are, indeed, seasons to life. Slow and chill all the time leaves us feeling no sense of contribution or fulfillment. Spending every waking moment striving for more leaves us exhausted and, oddly enough, unfulfilled.
Similar to a great basketball player, we are best when we change our pace.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
Awareness is difficult to acquire. Recognizing the pace we have and the pace we need are critical. Here are a few ideas to help become more aware of our pace.
Contrary to what we hear, excellence thrives when balance is achieved. Understanding the pace we are living and intentionally choosing to adjust it as we see fit, is the essence of excellence in life and leadership.
For more information on building excellence in your teams, visit us at www.bluecollargrit.com.
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I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.