Everything Counts

by Jim Stovall

I’m a firm believer in the concept that we never do anything, good or bad, that we don’t get paid for.  Some of the good things you may do may not be immediately or obviously rewarded, but I believe they will be; and if someone does something bad, it may seem—in the short term—that they’re getting away with it, but consequences are a universal law.

Everything we do matters in the grand scheme of things.  There are some things that seem more critical than others, but if we will step back and examine it, we will realize that the crisis comes from our performance not external factors.

Recently, I enjoyed the NBA playoffs.  It seems like basketball, more than any other sport, often comes down to what sports announcers or fans would call a last-second critical shot.  In reality, if a team needs a last-second basket to win the game, that single basket counts no more or less than if they had made it immediately after the opening tipoff at the beginning of the game.  In fact, often the last-second basket seems critical because a team may have played poorly at some point in the first half, and the crisis comes to the surface at the last second.

Last college football season, fans watched in frustration and anguish as a young man from Stanford University missed a critical field goal.  Obviously, you would expect a kicker at the major college level to routinely make that field goal; however, if the team had simply gotten another first down in the second quarter or if a receiver had not dropped a pass on the opening drive of the game, Stanford might never have needed that field goal in the last second of the game.

Many crises we face in our personal and professional lives are self-induced.  We put ourselves in a financial or time constraint and then need some last second heroics to emerge unscathed.  Success in life is not about seeing how close we can get to the edge without going over the cliff.  While there are last-second emergencies and crunch times in everyone’s life, the majority of stress and frantic last-minute efforts could be avoided by prior planning.

Too many people who face last-minute financial or deadline emergencies based their planning on a best-case scenario.  If you don’t plan for the inevitable delay, flat tire, or budget overrun, you will live your whole life facing the frantic last-second shot to stay in the game.

As you go through your day today, plan to win in every area of your life beginning with the first play of the game, not just the last one.

Today’s the day!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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One thought on “Everything Counts

  1. And, when the inevitable time comes where that last-second shot just doesn’t go in, remember that tomorrow will come and you will likely have another chance to prepare better for what seems to be the critical shot. Don’t waste time beating yourself up over failed attempts, learn from them and move on.