TIME

People all around the world have different lives, different, jobs, different cars, different homes - but we all have one thing the same and that is TIME. Every day- everyone has the same amount of time. 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day. 86,400 seconds. How those 86.400 seconds are used often defines our lives.

If you've been reading often you know I'm an old John Wooden disciple, so get ready for some "Wooden-isms". One of Coach Wooden's most famous quotes is,"Don't mistake activity for achievement." Many folks get caught up in going, going, going and "appear" really busy. Often times those people are in a a hurry - and we all know to "Be Quick - but Don't Hurry". I See people rushing around all the time because they are in one of two extremes. They either lack planning or preparation and "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail." And "if you don't have time to do it right - when are you going to find the time to do it over?" At times people are at the other extreme where they micro-manage and work far harder than they need to. The key, sometimes,  is to work smarter not harder, and that often involves organization.

At times it is important in the organization process to just stop and think. Take the time to develop your thoughts and plan accordingly. Slowing down to think makes some people uncomfortable because they feel like they aren't doing something. Many times when I'm reading, browsing, or even "tweeting" I'll be asked what I'm doing. I do those things because I like to know stuff. I guess formally they'd call that learning and education. That accumulation of knowledge, while folly to some, is preparation to me. I'm not always sure what - but I have faith that someday - that knowledge, however trivial it may seem, may come in handy at some point and I want to be prepared for that. Abe Lincoln said

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."

I look at these times simply as "sharpening the axe". If more people spent time "sharpening the axe" it might be easier to "chop down their tree". Metaphorically speaking, of course. So we need to train ourselves to accept the fact that just thinking is good. There have been plenty of recent studies that show this may be your most productive time.One of the most oft-repeated quotes comes from Bill Bradley, star NBA guard for the Knicks and American Politician who quoted in his book Values of the Game,

Somewhere someone is practicing. If you're not and you meet them in competition, all other things being equal, you will lose!

I’m wondering if MAYBE the following statement is just as true...

Somewhere, someone is resting and recovering. That will revitalize them to the point when they take the court again, they will work harder, longer, and with more focus . This periodization of training leads to a more productive practice regimen. And when and you meet them in competition, all other things being equal, you will lose! --Coach Lok

I think the same thing applies to our work and our everyday lives.

The key may be to look at work just like training. You can't go 100% all the time. There needs to be some "periodization" involved. So whatever you're doing, whether it's working, recovering, or "sharpening the axe" - do so with a purpose. And put all 86,400 seconds to good use.

"If you can fill the unforgiving minute, With sixty seconds' worth of distance run - Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it..." --Rudyard Kipling's "IF"

How we "fill the unforgiving minute..." always reminds me of the wonderful poem "The Dash" by Linda Ellis which she eloquently describes as the little line between the date of someones birth and the date their death which represents all that has happened between...how that life has been lived.. You'll enjoy spending some time watching "The Dash movie" too.

What are we going to do to make sure our "dash" represents what we want it to? It's good to think about what we want our dash to represent, and what we are going to do to ensure that happens. Set some goals, work to achieve them - then if you"re derailed, keep plugging away without being discouraged. "Now" just may not be the time.

I remember a comic strip, I think it was Frank & Ernest, where one of them was praying and said "God, how long is a million years? "A voice from above said, "To me, it’s about a minute." The man asked, "God, how much is a million dollars? "The voice bellowed, "To me, its just a penny. "In the next frame the man smiled and asked, "God, can I have a penny? "

God answered, "In a minute."

I think of this all the times when something doesn't seem to be happening on MY schedule or as fast as I want it to. In the coaching profession so many coaches are looking for that next job, or how to "move up". Life's not always on OUR schedule. Keep working. Do the right thing. Make the big time wherever you are. Be patient. Have faith.

An often overlooked feature of John Wooden's Pyramid of Success are the sides of the Pyramid - which is the mortar that holds the 15 blocks together. Notice the mortar at the top of the Pyramid is "Patience" and "Faith"

Stay tuned for next month when we'll discuss the "mortar" that holds the Pyramid of Success together.

Until then..be patient.

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  • Ray,

    Great piece. Absolutely love Johne Wooden, he is a mentor for all. Life mentor actually.

    Best,

    Kirk
    Author: Becoming a True Champion

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