Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Huainanzi - Entry 94

Trey Smith
To wish to be a partner of evolution and respond to the times by means of the transformations of a single generation is like wearing cloth in winter and leather in summer. You cannot make a hundred shots with the same aim; you cannot go through a whole year with one set of clothing. Your aim must conform to high and low; your clothing must be suited to cold and heat.
~ a passage from
The Book of Leadership and Strategy by Thomas Cleary ~
Though I will never be confused for a basketball prodigy, there was one aspect of the game that I was very proficient at: free throw shooting. I often could stand there and hit 20, 30, 40 or even 50 shots in a row without a miss.

One of the tricks to shooting free throws successfully is to develop a routine. Each time you step to the line, you repeat the routine with the idea that, by blocking out distractions and concentrating instead on your routinized approach, you will meet with success time and time again.

It's a good theory and one that proves successful...most of the time. There are times, however, that you follow the routine devoutly and yet the ball clangs off the rim and does not fall through.

There could be many reasons for this. Maybe your hands were more sweaty than you realized. Maybe the basket is slightly off center. Maybe you went through your routine a fraction slower or faster than usual. Like I said, it could be any one of numerous reasons.

If you keep repeating your same approach and yet you keep missing the basket, the flexible person -- not routinized me, of course -- would recalibrate the routine to net better results!
To read the introduction to this ongoing series, go here.

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