When I was much younger, I used to play a lot of racquetball.
I would stop by after work where they had a challenge court.
One with a glass back wall.
You’d write your name up on a board, and you’d play the winner.
Most I ever won was three in a row.
One guy I played frequently.
I was in my twenties, he was in his sixties.
And he always beat me.
Every. Single. Time.
I would run around like a jack rabbit on crack, trying for a kill shot whenever I could.
He would just hang out in the center of the court.
My shots were hard and powerful.
His shots were soft, and very, very well placed.
I would just swing as hard as I could and try to kill it.
He would just barely tap it.
By the time it got to his racquet, it still had plenty of my energy.
So he didn’t need to use all that much.
And it would be placed to perfectly, usually as a bank shot into the corner, so I’d have to chase it all over the place.
I was ALWAYS behind.
On points, mentally and emotionally.
He was always in control, and I was always chasing the ball.
Those games are a perfect metaphor for youth and mindless power, and age and experience.
Young people want things, and they want it now.
Older folks with a lot of experience know that some things take time.
Young people want to hit it hard and fast.
Older, more experienced folks know that bank shots can provide much better results.
It’s not what you do, it’s what happens as a result of what you do.
And these results (like bank shots in the corner) can unfold in some very interesting ways.
Luckily, you don’t need to be physically old to use this mind set.
You just need patience.
And an understanding that it’s not the direct result of your efforts, it’s the lingering secondary and tertiary results.
Like planting a seed, and waiting for it to grow.
If you plan a flower seed, you’ll some pretty flowers.
They’ll bloom, look good, and then whither and die.
On the other hand, if you plant the seeds for a fruit tree, you’ll have fruit for many, many decades.
You can get whatever you want.
With enough patience and the right seeds.