Ask a basketball player about the game, and they will talk about possessions of the ball, the clock, openings they created, and specific shots they took. Of course, winning is, important, but the great ones know they get there shot by shot.
Filmmakers will often put themselves in precarious positions and often go to extraordinary lengths to capture the right moment in the frame. Sometimes oblivious to their surroundings, other times, uniquely aware, yet they always remain focused. They take great pride in getting the shot.
Ever contend with a frightened toddler just before for their annual immunization? Nurses deal with squirming, emotional, flailing children every day. They do not have the luxury of waiting until the tyke has stoically calmed down. The good ones know how to create the right environment, where they can swoop in, and seemingly effortlessly if not painlessly, give the shot.
Professionals in these diverse fields know how to manage time, look for or create opportunities, and get the shot in. Sometimes they miss, but when they do, they don’t crumble to the floor and soak their sorrows with a pint of ice cream. They brush off their failed attempt and keep at it until they get it right. Then they celebrate with a first bump, a high-five, a little wink and a sticker, not with a parade down city boulevards. They all know that it is the shot, although small, brief, and not award-winning in and of itself, that always serves the greater mission. To win the game, tell the story, protect the child.
The great ones, practice and perfect the routine.
What about you? Are your everyday actions serving your greater purpose?
You do not accomplish your purpose without first stringing together many, much smaller and repetitive steps over time.
Manage your time.
Look for and make opportunities.
Get your shot in.
Go on to the next one.
Also published on Medium.