The First, Not the Lasts

Josh BairdLeadership

My son is a senior this year. There’s a constant litany running through my head: last game. Last tackle. Last rebound. Last three-pointer. This is the last year I’ll get to watch him play.

We spend a lot of time and energy on the destination: the varsity team, the college team. We focus on where we’re going rather than on where we are now.

Focus on the Firsts

If I could go back in time, I’d tell my 30-year-old self to focus on the firsts because that’s where the real joy is. The first touchdown. The first hit. The first pin. I’d spend more time congratulating, encouraging, high-fiving and celebrating all the firsts instead of just looking at them as stepping stones. We don’t enjoy and celebrate the firsts because we are living in the future and looking to the destination.

What if we celebrated the successes that happen along the way? What if we just watched our kids play and experienced that joy?

Celebrate the Successes

As the dad of a high school senior, I can assure you: The destination is overrated. Focusing on it robs you of the joy of today, and where you arrive may not be where you thought you were going. When you get to the end, it may not be what you made it out to be. So celebrate the firsts. That’s where the joy is.

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