As I have said many times, I have never been one to thoroughly think things through. I have made some very good decisions in my life, and I have also made some major blunders. One thing is certain, I have always been a goal setter. Whether seeming impossible or not, I strive to reach the unreachable goals. I have always been a fan of bowling, but until the last four to five years it has never been a thing of mine.
Not too long ago I was in line at our local Walmart on a Monday evening. Bill Allen was a guy that I really didn’t know that well, but we had gone to church together for several years. He was in line behind me. Our wives were involved in a group at our church that met every Monday. I am still not sure where it came from, but I turned back and asked him if he ever bowled before. I suggested maybe we should go on Mondays since we were both home alone. He told me he used to bowl in a league, and he had been thinking of starting again. What are the odds of that! I would say it was at that moment I was hooked on bowling.
My only experience with bowling was going was once every year or two. I needed Bill to teach me how to bowl. At first, I would bowl in the 110-130 range. As time went on, I got a little better. I was around a 140-150 average per game when we both decided it was time to get serious. So, we formed a team of five and joined a league at Highland Lanes in Hillsboro. And as my past dictates, I became obsessed with bowling. Several times a week I was bowling. As my average continued to grow, so did my frustration level. I was never satisfied with my score. The dozen or so balls and all the equipment purchased was not much help in raising my average either. Can any of you relate?
Fast-forward to today: I have learned there’s so much to perfecting this game. So much of it is simple math. Thinking about where to stand, what arrow to throw at, ball speed, and rotation. There are so many good bowlers at Highland Lanes and I would say I am in the higher end of the midrange. My average now is 194 with several 250-plus games under my belt. But, that perfect game of 300 has eluded me thus far. Maybe it always will. We have all heard that close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Why can’t I just be satisfied with raising my average some 90 pins since I started?
It seems obvious that there is a life lesson in all this. There are two sides to every coin. On the one side, we always have room for improvement. We may want to get more efficient at our job. Our goal may be to become more frugal in our shopping. Those of us in sales may set higher goals for the new year. Who doesn’t want to be a better parent, son or daughter or spouse? Those are all good things to strive to be better at, right?
But, there’s always that other side of the coin. The side that tells us to be content with what we have. This contentment isn’t an exciting kind of happy. It’s more of a peaceful ease of mind. It’s a feeling of being satisfied. Do we like being where we are and are we accepting of it?
I am not sure if it’s common practice, but since I started writing columns it has made sense to me to ask the opinions of others. Jenny Hilterbran had what I feel is a dead on target for this topic. Which side of that coin is best?
Her thoughts were to choose neither. We should always choose excellence instead of trying to decide to be better or be content. I pulled a “Ricky Ricardo” and said, “Lucy, you have some esplainin to do. What do you mean?”
The definition of excellence is not perfection. It’s doing your best always in all things. It takes hard work and is almost never easy. It’s giving our very best in every situation. It may not mean being the best, but being your very best. There’s a big difference.
Do you agree?
Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.