Let’s play a game. It’s New You against …. Yesterday You. New You and Yesterday You each get 100 marbles to play with. Each marble represents one unit of time, attention, effort, and energy.
The object of this game is to come closest to achieving the ambitious, long-term vision that New You and Yesterday You share. The way each invests his 100 marbles will determine his progress towards the vision.
Oh, and there’s a catch – this game isn’t fair. Only New You is allowed to invest his marbles in any way he wishes. Yesterday You, on the other hand, must stick with his marbles’ current allocation, forever. And New You is allowed to peek at Yesterday You’s game plan before creating his own.
Questions to ponder:
1. If this game truly existed, and you wanted to win, would you choose to be New You, or Yesterday You?
2. And as New You, how would you allocate your 100 marbles differently than Yesterday You to defeat him? To bury him?
So, what are you waiting for?
After all, this game DOES exist. And you have no choice about whether or not to compete. Get ready, because New You vs. Yesterday You begins tomorrow morning, at the moment you wake up.
How will you invest New You’s 100 Marbles to win the game?
Rob Crawford, a school administrator who loves baseball and acoustic guitars, writes on productivity, impact, and happiness at Crawdaddy Cove.
I told my friend Graham that I often cycle the two miles from my house to the town centre but unfortunately there is a big hill on the route. He replied, ‘You mean fortunately.’ He explained that I should be glad of the extra exercise that the hill provided.
My attitude to the hill has now changed. I used to grumble as I approached it but now I tell myself the following. This hill will exercise my heart and lungs. It will help me to lose weight and get fit. It will mean that I live longer. This hill is my friend. Finally as I wend my way up the incline I console myself with the thought of all those silly people who pay money to go to a gym and sit on stationery exercise bicycles when I can get the same value for free. I have a smug smile of satisfaction as I reach the top of the hill.
Problems are there to be faced and overcome. We cannot achieve anything with an easy life. Helen Keller was the first deaf and blind person to gain a University degree. Her activism and writing proved inspirational. She wrote, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”
One of the main determinants of success in life is our attitude towards adversity. From time to time we all face hardships, problems, accidents, afflictions and difficulties. Some are of our making but many confront us through no fault of our own. Whilst we cannot choose the adversity we can choose our attitude towards it.
Douglas Bader was 21 when in 1931 he had both legs amputated following a flying accident. He was determined to fly again and went on to become one of the leading flying aces in the Battle of Britain with 22 aerial victories over the Germans. He was an inspiration to others during the war. He said, “Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t do this or that. That’s nonsense. Make up your mind, you’ll never use crutches or a stick, then have a go at everything. Go to school, join in all the games you can. Go anywhere you want to. But never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or impossible.”
How can you change your attitude towards the adversity that you face? Try these steps:
Confront the problem. Do not avoid it.
Deliberately take a positive attitude and write down some benefits or advantages of the situation.
Visualise how you will feel when you overcome this obstacle.
Develop an action plan for how to tackle it.
Smile and get cracking.
The biographies of great people are littered with examples of how they took these kinds of steps to overcome the difficulties they faced. The common thread is that they did not become defeatist or depressed. They chose their attitude. They opted to be positive. They took on the challenge. They won.