Chill’s Blog: Game Plan

I played point guard in high school (that’s basketball for you non sports folks). No surprise if you’ve seen my legs and definitely no surprise if you’ve seen how slow I am. I had to make up for the short legs and lack of quickness by being smart on the court. My coach used to tell me to see the whole court and pay attention…and the message sticks today. The only difference is that the world is now my court, but the charge remains the same: I need to see the whole world and pay attention.

Often, folks believe that changing the world is hard and while it is, it’s not as hard if we can just break it down. All we need is a game plan.

The first quarter game plan for changing the world: put my shoes on the court. In other words, I gotta show up but I can’t just show up gently, I must show up with full and absolute presence. I learned that just putting my shoes on the court without my body, soul and heart filling those shoes is just a waste of time and since time is one of the most valuable resources in fighting the guerilla warfare of goodness, I don’t want to waste time by just kind of showing up.

The second quarter game plan for changing the world: I must pay attention. If I don’t see, hear and at times even smell what is going on around me, I can’t move it forward. Simple example. How many times have you been walking in a door behind someone and the door slams in your face with no effort on the part of the person in front to hold it open for you? Am I truly looking and seeing those around me? Energy creates purpose so I have to think about the energy I am putting forth and realizing the purpose I am creating as a result. I have to see the trash on the ground so I can pick it up. I have to see the person walking by me so I can smile and say “Hi.” I have to notice the great customer service I am getting so I can say, “Thank you.” If I do not pay attention, I can do none of this. Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” It’s not just my life I must examine but the life around me.

Halftime: Oh yeah, take a breath, regroup and take care for at least a moment. Get a motivational speech. Lace up the Chucks and let’s get at it again…

The third quarter game plan for changing the world: The best game plan usually needs adjustment in the second half. While a basketball game, and life, creates its own little rhythm, there is often a time when something happens that disrupts the rhythm. When the bump in the road comes, I cannot back off my efforts or give up on the original game plan. Adjustment does not mean throwing out the essence. I have to know my core values in order to not waver. Changing the world requires me to know what I believe and how I manifest those beliefs. For instance, I truly, truly believe that people want to do good. I live my life based on that. That is part of my game plan. That is something I may have to adjust to when it’s challenged, and I must come back to it to keep me on track.

The fourth quarter game plan for changing the world: Play til the final buzzer. Obvious, eh? The score doesn’t matter. Give, give, and give a little more. Coach always said that she shouldn’t know what the score is unless she looks at the scoreboard, not by our efforts. When I get a little (or a lot) tired, I find my friends with like mind, and gear up for the next game…this season doesn’t end.


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