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I’m sitting here doing some course work and watching billiards on TV. I figure it’s something that offers some background noise while not distracting me too much from my work. One of the players just ignored an easy shot of a ball by the pocket to go for a more difficult shot which he missed, and the other player went on to win the match. The commentators were analyzing the match (is it called that?) and said that he should have taken that shot– billiards strategy says to. He assumed that it was an easy shot and would save it for later. But why? Why wait?

It seems that this idea isn’t simply relative to pool, but in our lives as well. We are often looking down road, ahead to the future and not paying attention to what is happening now… right here, right now. We are too focused on the thing to come next, and not focusing our attention on the things that are right in front of our faces. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a large proponent for forward thinking and visionary planning, but I don’t support oversight. When we ignore the “easy shot” and go for the 8-ball, we’re skipping over an event and often times creating a missed opportunity.

We need to take what is in front of us– tasks, projects, issues– and finish it. Take the shot, make it, and go on to the next one. Success, I feel, is a collection of smaller accomplishments. It’s very difficult to be successful without making incremental improvements and changes. Starting without finishing is failure.

Take the shot. The 8-ball will be there when you’re ready.

  • Ian Boyd Mar 16, 2012

    A great thought and, believe me, I always support incremental improvements. What’s important to note is that hindsight is always 20/20. Big risks often yield big rewards and I’m sure that was the thought behind your player – Let the easy shot guard the pocket and go for the gold. Sure, billiards strategy may have said to take the shot, but it’s often the heretics, those who go against the structured principals, who come away with the big win. Not to say that fundamentals aren’t important, but sometime you need to take the leap of faith.

  • Gwen Jun 28, 2012

    If you could email me with some hints on how you made your blog site look this awesome, I would be thankful.

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