Racing to a Red Light

Racing to a Red Light


I had a pretty dramatic life experience recently that taught me a lot about the living in the moment movement. I had unbeknownst to me, managed to get so ahead of myself in life that I failed to grasp what was happening right now. I had, I thought, been setting my life up to be a loving husband, a caring father, a successful business owner and a respected coach. And then, everything changed. You see, you spend enough time with your foot on the gas, you’re bound to hit a red light. My red light brought my whole world to a screeching halt.

Each year the teams I get an opportunity to coach participate in the State Championships. The dates for the tournament are predetermined and it’s the last hurrah to complete each campaign. During the tryout process in the fall, I select the 16-20 kids who I think give the team the best chance to win the state tournament. If there are skills or team concepts that are not present after the tryout process, the coaches will teach the kids so they can practice those skills and get the team up to par. We have to take each skill, one practice at a time to focus on said skill and build from there. In essence, we take a skill or concept, and use it as a stair step to the next skill or concept in our goal of creating a successful team for the year end tournament.

Each season that I coach, the State Championship is our ultimate red light. It’s the definitive end to an otherwise strung together list of practices and game times all leading to an epic finale. Each practice, and every game is a moment of its own each season. A required moment to help the kids obtain a skill that will be needed at the next red light. As a coach, I can’t expect my team to perform a set play if they haven’t been taught the play or skill beforehand. We must have had that moment, created that step. Much in the same regard, I could not expect those wonderful things from before without first getting married, having children, and obtaining the skills to be a business owner.

As you race from red light to red light on your quest to your ultimate finale, take the time while you’re waiting to get your affairs in order. What can you do today that will better position yourself for the next red light? What skill or emotion can you work on in that moment to ensure that you’re living a fulfilled life? What task can you check off your “To Do” list that guarantees you’re taking advantage of the moment? Taking time to enjoy the present and taking appropriate actions to get me to my goals is a skill that I only recently learned. I lived my life two steps ahead of the next red light. Don’t let that happen to you, it’s a very expensive ticket. I learned the hard way.

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