Loving Life Blog

Spur of the Moment Reflections

Time to Steal Second Base! October 30, 2009


Late night and I am reading an email from Simple Truths promoting a book with motivational quotes… and there is a selection of the 20 best.  I stripped it down to 3 – for clear reasons they spoke to me right now:

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.~Henry Ford

Makes me think back to the leadership program where we did a number of exercises that required true teamwork, creativity and persistence. Whether the task was to figure out the rules and each time we broke one we had to start over, or the rules were laid out loud and clear but the task was very difficult and each time we broke one rule we had to start over – the spoken word was “begin again!”; and that’s what we did.  (It’s like in yoga when meditating – as soon as your mind starts wondering away you tell yourself “Thinking!” and get back to focus on the breathing). Back to base line. The amount of energy that was created in the process was huge; all derived from the wanting to figure it out, to reach the finish line and make it happen. We had a purpose. And doing it over and over again creates a pattern – there wasn’t even a thought of failure – it was just a little recap and thinking and on it again! With that attitude you will reach the finish line.

You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.~Wayne Gretsky

I haven’t come across this quote before, but a close friend of mine just told it to me an hour ago. With other words, as my father said on the phone this morning: you can’t win if you don’t try.

Progress always involves risks. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.~Frederick B. Wilcox

That is so true. That quote brings me back to a couple of years ago when I wrote a proposal for a new responsibility structure for my group at work. I can smile at it now, but I was a little concerned thinking, “If I give all of these responsibilities away to my proposed direct report – what will I then do?” Did I make myself jobless? No. Did I get my plate full? Yes, and more than. Was there growth? Plenty. Was there risk? Probably not as much as I thought. But the lesson is still there – had I not created time and space by delegating responsibilities – or leaving the first base – there wouldn’t have been room to take on new responsibilities and expand the horizon with those. Which first base are you sticking to although you are long past due to move on? What is stopping you? How big is the risk really? What would the worst case look like if it didn’t work out?

You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first… my tired slightly creative mind imagine the scenario of leaving the first base, full force forward – and then half way to second base pops this question up – then what?  What if you don’t know the rules of the game? Because I clearly don’t. My friend’s comment pops up in my mind from when we played tennis in Budapest 1993 “but Johanna – this isn’t ballet” [I was just reaching with the racquet for the ball, but apparently in a ballerina fashion]… which turned my imaginary scenario into a dance – free dance. What if you really would apply the principle of Nia, to dance your body’s way? To create from nothing… or from your own core. Then it will end up like a lesson with my legendary ever so energetic and enthusiastic statistic professor from Stockholm School of Economics, who would give us a lesson on derivatives, and very involved fill the black board writing this extremely long formula from top left to bottom right three times over that magically will end up with the solution. Tada! All the students will sit there with big eyes, quietly and frenetically trying to capture everything he says and write. And Professor Håkan Lyckeborg will always end up with a big smile, turn to the students and say “Isn’t that beautiful!?” Like magic. I like it. And I do need sleep – that is important!

Last day tomorrow as full time employee. It’s time to gradually leave the first base and create space for a new. A new.

Join me on the joy ride! At least The Ride. I’ll be happy to join yours (as a cheering, loving, kick-ass coach down in the corner)!
Hold tight!
Johanna

By the way – stealing the second base was not what we ended up doing after that I posted on Facebook that Keeva was looking for bases… But we did find two great bass singers – come and hear them at the concert tomorrow!

Date: Friday, October 30th
Time: 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM

Place: Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez Street at 23rd, San Francisco
Price: Free for folks in costume; suggested $7 donation for all others
Food: Various tricks and treats will be available

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One Response to “Time to Steal Second Base!”

  1. Hannah Brown Says:

    As always you bring good questions and a lot of inspiration to my everyday. Thanks for blogging!


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