Monday, July 5, 2010

Even the best ideas need a little leg-work to get going....

Playing some backyard soccer with my nephew, Jared, was good for me in many ways. First, I need the exercise; next, it reconnected me with the pure fun of playing (it's been 14 years!); and finally it reminded me that vision and imagination often exist independent of the means to implement them.

Okay, that last one was complex. "Vision and imagination often exist independent of the means to implement them." let's unpack the idea, because I believe it's a concept worth thinking about on a Monday morning at the beginning of another week.

Playing soccer with my nephew, one danger of the disconnect between vision and means was that I would seriously hurt myself!

As you can see from the photograph, I can still control a ball like it's attached with a piece of string. Jared was amazed that I could run through a series of cones (actually, flower pots), cutting back and forth at speed, with the ball never more than a few inches away from my feet. I can still juggle; I can trap an incoming ball at any height or speed like I had a catcher's mitt on my feet. And I can pass and shoot with pinpoint accuracy...

So why don't I get out there and play on a team? Because there's a world of difference between demonstrating skills in isolation (and I still had to be careful), and responding in real time and making split-second decisions without consulting certain body-parts.

The moment I find myself back in a live-action game situation, it's all going to fit together and my imagination and creativity are going to trump limited flexibility, diminished speed and compromised reflexes. That's when something will snap, I'll fall over, I'll run out of gas before I get going, I'll crumple, or something.... and that will be the end of the game for me.

Simply put, I don't have what it takes any more to play competitive soccer.

Fine. So what's that got to do with anything?
Well, I'm concerned that we often have great ideas about stuff (big and small): The future, family, spiritual life, career, projects, fitness, goals, relationships.... But we fail to do the leg-work required to make it happen. So we get discouraged at the first obstacle, set-back, cramp, road-block etc., and we don't go any further because we believe we can't implement the vision so why try?

Marriages fail, careers stall, relationships get stuck - not for lack of vision but for lack of fundamentals. Practice, training, commitment, discipline, strength, flexibility - all the things that we have to work at, diligently, if we really want to move forward.

There's more to say about this idea, but I don't have time this morning! But tune in soon for more, and I'll develop the idea.

Have a great Monday - DEREK

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