Playing Life’s Last Point, and Scoring.

How unlimited chances can weaken my will to win.

Melvin Yuan

Few things energize me more than playing Ultimate Frisbee.

I was at a game again this evening, and as the sunset, I determined to leave after scoring one more point.

And I didn’t score. My team lost that point, and we lost the next, and the next.

Standing at the start-line for the next point, I wondered if – giving myself unlimited chances to score – actually kept me from scoring. After-all, I was going to leave the field, only after scoring one last point.

I wondered – what if I determined to play that point as if it was my last. I was going to leave the field (and stop playing for today) even if I didn’t score.

I scored the next point.

And it dawned on me – that I was living my life, and running my projects and businesses – as if I had the chance to win… at some point in time.

I was living my life as if I could delay success – because I wasn’t going to exit (this life) without winning.

I wasn’t playing the game of life and work, as if I was playing my last point. And so it wasn’t exceedingly important that I score now. Well, it was important… but it wasn’t important enough.

That’s what happens when you think you have unlimited chances.

I thought about my wife’s birthday celebration last weekend. I lined up a string of 7 surprise meetings with very dear friends over three days. And she only knew that she was going to meet each group when they actually showed up at the door.

She told me after that – perhaps what made the weekend profoundly enjoyable – was that she immersed into every meeting as if it was the last of the birthday surprise.

It’s not knowing what comes after, it’s not expecting another chance (to score a point; to meet another group of friends) – that has us truly present in the moment, and that has us determined to have everything then.

    Melvin Yuan

    Written by

    On a Sabbatical |

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