How to Steal Your Life Back

Posted by on February 18, 2002

The catcher walked out to the pitcher’s mound and everything came to a halt. Their brief conversation was punctuated only by the sweep of their eyes as they slowly scanned the crowd. The moment passed, the catcher walked slowly back to his place, and the game went on.

Later, the commentator interviewing the winning pitcher asked, “What did [the catcher] say to you when he came out to the mound?” The pitcher replied through a spray of champagne, “He said, ‘Wow. This is it, game 7 of the World Series – what you and I have dreamed about since we were little kids. Now look up into those stands and think of all the millions of people watching you and me on TV right now. And every one of’em is wondering what we’re talking about.'”

Sadly, I’m not enough of a sports fan to recall the names of the players or even the year in which it occurred, but I’ll always appreciate the wisdom of the now nameless catcher who stopped and seized a moment of his life for the scrapbook of his memory.

Have you been seizing moments?

Much has been written about the tyranny of the urgent, but I fear that very little is being done about it. Unlike that nameless catcher, most of us are swept relentlessly along by the flashfloods of circumstance and obligation. “Too much to do, too little time.” It happens to the smartest people. But there is a subtle difference between a smart person and a wise one. A smart person makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. A wise person is one who finds a smart person and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether.

Would you be wise?

According to numerous surveys, most people over sixty-five will respond with one of three, very smart answers when asked, “If you had your life to live over again, what would you do differently?”

The most predictable answer speaks directly to the behavior of the catcher. “If I had my life to live over again, I’d take more time to reflect, and not push happiness always into the future.”

Are you taking time to be happy?

The second most predictable answer among the over-sixty-five crowd is, “I’d take more risks.”

Are you taking risks?

And the third most predictable answer is, “I’d do something that would live after me.”

. Are you investing your life in ways that will make a difference when you’re gone?

The tyranny of the urgent will demand your life, one minute at a time, if you let it. Will you learn from these smart people? Be wise.

Don’t let it.

Roy H. Williams

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