I watch no more than seven hockey games a year . . . the Stanley Cup Finals. The effort, quickness and passion on display in such a high stakes environment . . . it’s captivating. And when the puck finally slips through that morass of players and sticks into the net, I never even see it until the horns go off and the crowd goes wild. But when they show the replay in slow motion . . . when they slow the game down . . . then I can see the short passes, the ricochets and the lightning-quick reactions.
It’s easy to see on the replay, but it’s a trick to slow the game down while it’s under way. One of the men in my new Radical Mentoring group has a talent for seeing things clearly in a crisis. He was good at sports because he could focus and see stuff before others could. He recently led his organization through a huge crisis because of his ability to stay cool under pressure, pay attention and make just the right moves at the right times.
Several of my mentees are talking about this right now . . . about taking on fewer things, paying better attention to what’s right in front of them and being more strategic about what they say ‘yes’ to. In Love Does, Bob Goff talks about quitting something every Thursday . . . which I’ve always thought was a cool way to focus by minimizing ‘clutter’ in our lives.
I can’t count how many guys I’ve heard talk about how busy they are and how their work and family lives seem out of control. Then they say stuff like “when my kids get out on their own, I’ll slow down” or “as soon as I get promoted” or “as soon as we sell the company” or the big one “when I get older . . .” Buddy, I got some bad news on that one. The older you, are the faster time flies. We’ve heard seniors say that all our lives but now even science affirms that perception. A friend told me about an article in Psychology Today that helps explain why . . .
“. . . the early years are full of first-time events – your first date, the birth of your first child, that first big vacation, etc. First occasions are novel events and we tend to make more detailed and lasting memories of those first times. When we repeat the event, year after year, it is less likely to make a unique or lasting impression.”
So, the more we repeat the stuff we do, the faster time seems to go by. When we do new and different things, the game slows down. And if we’re paying attention, we connect better with the people in our lives, we experience beauty more often and we make better decisions because we have greater perspective.
Slow your game down. Spend more time on fewer things. Start a gratitude journal and each day, before you go to bed, write down one new thing you saw or experienced and tell God thank you. Knowing you’re going to write something down will help motivate you to look for His good gifts.
Scripture: Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? (Luke 12:25)
Mentor Tip: Mentoring young heat-seekers can be challenging. They pay a lot more attention to what you do than what you say. Are you modeling a life of discipline? Self-control? Have you slowed your game down?
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