A big difference between kids and adults is that kids are willing to be silly and carefree with a very short view into the future. They aren’t thinking too far ahead which allows them to live in the moment.
Adults are always looking around and wondering who is watching before they can normally let go and be themselves. We get crippled by a cloud of fear that we create over ourselves.
Instead of telling our kids what to do maybe, we should take a page out of their playbook and just throw the whole playbook out.
I remember walking my son to kindergarten and being amazed at how much he’d grown and how fast those first few years of his life went by.
It reminded me of when I was in kindergarten, over 30 years ago, and how quickly the time seemed to pass. I still remember the fifth-grade classes being on the third floor and thinking, “I’m never going to get up to fifth grade. It’s going to take so long. I have so many years ahead of me.”
As I write this, my son isn’t in Kindergarten anymore. He will be heading into fifth grade next fall.
How quickly time passes us by.
How precious our time is.
How easily we dismiss it.
The game clock is continually running and there are no timeouts. This moment is fleeing just like the last.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words but it’s also worth a time stamp. It’s an imprinted memory with a date circled.
It gives us a wormhole, of sorts, to the past.
How were we feeling at that moment?
Where was our life at?
What was happening to us?
Who were we becoming?
A single picture, a snapshot, can open up a wave of thoughts and emotions about life already lived.
How does that make us feel?
Are we sad that the moment is gone or grateful we had the opportunity in the first place?
Pictures capture moments. Moments become memories. Memories give us a view, although distorted, of our past.
It provides the perspective to live in the moment and not waste any of it because eventually, the present moments will become memories that we either capture with a picture or, more importantly, keep close by in our hearts.
Going into this past year the main storyline had been that Jimmy Garoppolo was probably in his last season as the 49ers starting quarterback. They drafted his replacement. Trey Lance was eager. They were just waiting things out.
Despite all of that distraction, his perseverance to stay focused has been something to admire. Even as they were going into must-win games over the past three weeks of the regular season, one to make the playoffs and the last two to stay alive, the main storyline that remained was “could this be Jimmy Gs final time suiting up in a 49er uniform”.
It had to be on his mind. It had to have been asked in every interview. The pressure to perform was at an all-time high.
And he rose to the occasion.
Did he play his best game against the Packers in the divisional round? Absolutely not. He struggled at times. He made errant throws. But he never lost focus.
When the pressure was at its highest he made several elite-level throws to help the team to victory.
He could’ve been thinking about the off-season and his next team, his shoulder injury, his thumb injury, or a myriad of other things. He could’ve been distracted.
But he wasn’t.
He was focused solely on the game and even more sharply on each play.
That’s what can happen when you focus and live in the present. You aren’t worried about the next play, the next drive, the next game. You are solely focused on the task at hand. Playing this play like it’s the only one that exists.
Because it is.
We don’t know what the next hours or weeks or months have in store so why worry or why let others’ loss of focus and dreaming of the future get in our way?
We can’t. We must stay tuned to our process. To our own cadence.