It was magnificent to watch elements of the World Cup. An athlete myself, I love seeing the heights of mastery to which humans reach.
Early into the series, my husband came home ecstatic one day. He’d just watched a match with the young Germany team. The key to his excitement? “They played into the space!” He kept repeating this, repeating this, like a new discovery, a mantra.
Together we watched the Germany / Uruguay game. And I saw this for myself.
I’m a person who sees principles – what is universal – in what is obvious. And so, watching this match, I was inspired by the potential of what I was witnessing.
When we play safe in life, we play to what is already known. We play to where the players are, to what is familiar to us.
When we do this, nothing changes. We may have fun, we may make money, we may serve someone, and yet within this context, we never shift. We never invent. We never tap into the full potential of what a moment can hold. We play it safe.
Wayne Gretzky once said, when an interviewer asked him how he scored so many goals, “I go to where the puck will be.”
He played into the space!
He trusted his intuition, his higher faculty of knowing where the game would be in two or three seconds. And he placed himself there.
If he had skated to where the puck was, he would have met countless other players all scrambling for the puck. No. He went to where the puck would be. He was alone, unguarded, with that split-second advantage of aiming his target clear to the net.
How does this apply to how we live life?
I am keenly curious about this, with my appetite whetted by the Germany / Uruguay match, to explore this in my own life.
How do I ‘play the ball to what is expected’? How can I ‘play the ball to where someone will be, sometime in the future, who will move it forward, where it’s not been before’?
Einstein did this. So did Tesla. Beethoven. Da Vinci. All the great masters. They played ahead of their time. They didn’t play to what was already conventional. They didn’t play to what was expected of them. They didn’t play to what already existed. They created something new. They dared. They were bold. They played into open space.
So, by the way, do all great inventors of recent times and of our time. Steve Jobs, Marie Curie, Alfred Nobel, Tim Berners-Lee …
So how might you do this?
For me, writing this Blog is an element of this. I am writing an oevre, a sequential master piece. I am writing knowing that someone, sometime, will be deeply moved by something they read in it. It will tweek an insight. It will turn on a light. And the world, somehow, will be different because of it.
I don’t know who this person(s) is. I don’t know when they will read it. I don’t know what their contribution outflow will be.
And yet I know I need to write it. I need to play it into space.
This, I know, is a key element in shifting humanity to a higher spiral – like an eagle effortlessly riding the thermal air currents, gleefully, playfully, leaving gravity into flight.
Some of us, more often now, must trust ourselves. We must set aside the temptation to play as we have always done. We must explore, we must pioneer, we must play into the open space … and trust. Someone will come to play the ball into the net … and ‘score’!
Questions to Ponder: How do you play it safe? How might you ‘play into space’ – play your life into open space, trusting that someone will appear who is not yet visible and ‘meet the ball’?
Want personal mentoring in exploring these and other questions in your own life?