There is No Touchdown Dance
After getting all philosophical yesterday about my goals and my family, I did some thinking this morning while plodding through my countless emails and approvals. I realized that there isn’t going to be a quick fix, no bandaid that will make everything magically sync up. You need to tweak one thing and see how it goes and then observe and tweak again. It’s like a big Rubick’s Cube, what you change on one side will ultimately change all of the other sides. The only problem is… by the time you get all of the sides figured out you’re eighty!
So feeling very parental, I watched part of the great Steve Martin movie called Parenthood. If you haven’t seen it for a while, watch it. I’ve only watched it twice, once before I had kids and once after. But the one part that stuck with me was the speech that Steve Martin’s dad (in the film) gives to him about being a parent. He says that your job is never over as a parent, there is no goal line, or spiking the ball, there is no touchdown dance. I know better than ever now what that means. Whether you love or hate your kids, or whether they’re forty years old or six months old, you are their parent.
This philosophy has also bled over into my professional life too. I think to myself that if I just finish this book I will be where I want to be, but it’s just not the case. Because by the time you’re done that, you’re halfway through the next one. And if you ever stop to smell the roses, the competition can catch up.
Life is a long and winding road and I think the elderly have it right. Maybe they don’t move slow because they’re old, they move slow because they can. It is a mind set, they’ve earned their dues. Why do you think they call us whipper snappers? They laugh at the fact that they know everything already and they know we are going to fail five times before we make it, just like they did. But we don’t know that, we think we’ve got everything all figured out. The reason the old people are grumpy and hate younger people is because they are afraid that maybe we do have it all figured out and they can’t stand the fact that they had to do it the hard way. The short version of this is no one knows, no one knows what the finish line is, or who the winners are. There is no checklist or qualifications you measure yourself against, you just put your head down and keep your feet moving. That’s it, Grandpa will tell you the same thing.
Even though there is no touchdown dance, you can still enjoy the game. It’s a game of inches. Over time you’ll win some and you’ll lose some. In the end, it’s the games you play and not the score that will make all the difference.