My Babe and I decided to go bowling early this afternoon.
I arrived a few minutes before her and had a moment to observe the venue. The atmosphere was just right. Music was playing subtly in the background and the air conditioning felt great in contrast to the 90º weather outside. A nice bunch was present and spread out across the lanes, leaving plenty of breathing room for each party. When I finally saw her approach the entrance, I smiled. We paid for two games and our rental shoes and walked over to lane four.
Bowling is a game that I can honestly say I SUCK in but there’s something about this sport that women are accepting to. Even though I’m not very good at it, I enjoy the game and it provides me with another way I can spend time with the people I love.
I started the first game doing pretty bad. TWICE I threw consecutive gutter-balls and sat down scoreless, she was putting me to shame. Midway through the game, I began to creep up on her but continued to fall short. She stayed at least three points ahead of me and went on to beat me by fourteen. Cool, I got my revenge in game two.
As we left, I started thinking about how the game of bowling is set up. Ten pins arranged four, three, two, one in an upside-down triangle. When we roll the ball down the lane, we aim for the most important pin, the one in the front.
Why don’t we aim for EVERYTHING in life the same way?
Let’s look at each of those pins as tasks on a to-do list, ten of them in order of importance. We all have a list of things to do in any given day. If for some strange reason you don’t, there’s a good chance that you’re just pushing things off that COULD be done now for another day. Which still includes them on your current to-do list.
When there’s a list of things to be completed, most people focus on the small things first. They save the big stuff for later because it may consume more time or require more effort on their part. Often, it’s the smaller things that consume so much of your time and energy. Then it’s too late and you’re too tired to begin working on the big stuff.
Have you ever packed a vehicle for a family vacation? In my experience, someone is always “nominated” to load luggage. They fill half the space with small and medium-sized bags and then run out of room when trying to load two or three large suitcases.
Then they have to unload EVERYTHING and start over.
This time they put the large suitcases first, in size order. Once the big stuff is in, all of the smaller things seem to fit accordingly in the gaps around and now the trunk or hatch closes securely with everything inside! Same amount of cargo, same amount of space. The only difference is the order in which they were placed inside.
The suitcases represent your most important things and the small bags are the little or everyday things that obliviously consume loads of your time. If you don’t set out to do the big important things first, chances are they won’t get crossed off the list. Don’t wait, just go ahead and knock it out!
In the game of bowling, pins two through ten aren’t important on your first chance. As many of us have, missing the most important pin results in only knocking out just a few on the side. Those few will possibly ricochet into a few others and in some cases will leave you with pins on each side of the lane. With one ball and one roll left, that’s a situation that’s impossible to complete. The same happens when WE try to knock out the little things instead of taking care of the important stuff first. We rarely finish and something is left over, and by the next frame (day), everything that was left over from before is now surrounded again by MORE things!
It can be difficult to stay in your lane when the lanes in life are slippery. Although it’s too easy to drift away from our original goals and intentions, keep your eyes on your foremost pin and just knock it out! When you knock out the most important pin, the rest just seems to go down with it, EASILY. A strike is great and even a spare is okay but you don’t want to go to sleep with the important pins left standing or even worse, a gutter-ball for the day.
Start doing the important things first or at least block out a specific time to do them. Commit to it until you’re finished and let the less important things fit accordingly in the gaps around. The small things are small things for a reason and if they don’t fit in, don’t sweat it!
More than likely, you have more important and ESSENTIAL things in your “suitcases” than inside your duffel bags.
- What are some things in YOUR life that you know you need to do, but struggle to get done on a regular basis?
- How much better would things be for you if you stayed on top of it?
With the intent to inform, indulge and inspire!
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