The signs quietly go up. The marshals are not talking. Setting the standard is the least that they can do. Everyone is waiting – cameras are still or are on silent mode. Only nature has the freedom to be and do what it will. Players love the perfect stillness and quiet just before they start their swing to hit the ball.
Not every sport is played with the moment in silence. Basketball has its trash talking, baseball its cat calling, and many have noise (racing, parts of tennis, and football). Even with this caveat, in the big moment – a baseball swing, a serve in tennis, and in the moment before a race – everything stills. It is as we reflect, savor the moment, and then release everything we have in the moment.
I have come to appreciate how much we appreciate the absence of things negative when we want to execute. Silence works. Support just before and after is a good thing. Most of all, we love it when our detractors are silent. I know I turn to help when I hear the whispers. “Gag those loudmouthed liars who heckle me, your follower, with jeers and catcalls.” (Psalm 31.18)
I understand how painful and distracting it is. There is a “but” in this thought. As I walk the corridors of any given corporation or small business, I can hear doubters voicing their views. There is nothing helpful or functional in the type of doubts I am talking about. These doubts are driven by the “you fail, I succeed” and “if your idea gets pushed aside at least you will not be successful”. The fact that there are those who are driven by pulling others down more than they are in bringing everyone up is a reality.
I admire the individual who can swing through the noise, playing on regardless, taking the shot. Life does not need to be shaped by the negative. We have the opportunity and freedom to decide and act on the positive. Reflection helps one stay ready. At some point, action is what is left.