JournalismPakistan.com June 30, 2014
“Leave the ones going away from the wicket," said this famous cricketer, “And just block the ones that are coming on the stumps.” Every now and again he would repeat the advisory.
Don’t knock it till you have tried it.
Not just good advice for cricket but also for life. If only we did limit ourselves to blocking the missiles that could cause us problems and leave the ones that don’t matter life would be so much simpler. We’d have less problems, less number of flanks to fight on and a longer innings.
But no, why would we do that. It is part of our nature to tickle the ones going way out of the off stump, push our bats into areas best left alone and try to grandstand, thereby setting up circumstances for returning prematurely to the pavilion.
Can’t we learn to get the bat out of the way instead of poking our nose into what is of no consequence until we play into the opposition’s hands.
There was an air force pilot friend of mine who used to say that life is like a up and down radar, for maximum benefit don’t clutter it up with redundant items. Makes a lot of sense except that just like our chest of drawers is full of used ticket stubs, matchbooks with one stick, dried out pens and bills from 1994, so too, are our lives reflective of the same sort of unnecessary baggage.
Too many friends, too many involvements and relationships, ambitions and plans, ideas and intentions, nearly all of them half done exercises because there is more quantity than quality and we don’t have the time to handle so many commitments.
That is why we can no longer discern the merit of the next delivery and play it for what it is worth.
We look around us and see people who seem to have a far higher level of success and they don’t seem any brighter or more impressive than you and I. What they have done is work out their priorities. They have cut out the fat from all aspects of their lives, literally cleaned their cupboards.
Like, no baggage from the past. Bygones are just that. History. They don’t waste energy harboring grudges, looking for revenge, plotting, envying or trying to pull the rug, they let it go.
All these are deliveries outside your stumps, don’t meddle with them. By that very token we should also drop it if it doesn’t work. It is again like a bad stroke in our collection. Get rid of it. If you just stop for a moment and consider your own situation. You’ll find that there is always one ‘bad stroke’ in your repertoire that ends up getting you in trouble.
It could be your temper, your lack of planning, impatience, suspicion, a natural disorganization, laziness, lack of detail, some conduct or attitude that ruins things for you, exactly the sort of element that gets you out of the reckoning even when the pitch is to your liking and you should be making boundaries.
We never blame ourselves for losing out on what was a certainty. Now, we are trailing back to the pavilion and the scoreboard mocks us. The sad part is we don’t still recognize our folly and get rid of it. We bring it back to every enterprise and mess up.
Learn to let the ball go. It is a gift in itself. Take the Harbhajan advice seriously. If you find it isn’t jeopardizing you don’t fiddle with it. Block only those that are aimed at your wicket. Then, do what you have to do. You’ll be a meaner, cleaner, tighter fighting machine.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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