The game. How can you grasp the most sand? If you grip it too tightly, it will escape through your fingers, and if you hold it too loosely, it will fall to the ground as well. To grasp the most sand, you must find the optimal balance between firmness and relaxation in your grip.
The lesson. How can you be your best? If you are a perfectionist and too rigid, you will be frustrated and eventually burn out. If you have no structure and are too loose, the you will lack the focus to persevere and complete the race.
Champions learn the art of maintaining an optimal flexibility which lies between a rigid structure (tight) and chaotic confusion (loose). They practice the discipline of critiquing their performance, but not taking it too seriously. They hold high standards and accept that perfection is not realistic. In the words of Jack Nicholas, world class golf champion, they learn how to “play poorly”. You accept and learn from a mistake, and then forget the mistake and move forward to the next opportunity.
Champions celebrate where they are good, seek how they can be better, and continue to strive to be their best. This simple recipe for excellence requires all three ingredients. Which ones do you tend to neglect? Do you celebrate your skills, achievements, and successes? Do you seek feedback and evaluate how you can improve? And finally, do you respond to feedback, make changes and adjustments, and continue to pursue excellence?
Celebrate good. Seek better. Strive for the best.