Leadership and Main

Bettering Others and the World You Live In

Counting Down

counting down

There are moments in life in which the process of counting down can redirect our thoughts and emotions.  Countdowns always start with bigger numbers and work downward.  By the time the countdown is over, not much is left.

Counting Down

Every once in a while, I have moments that hit me like a ton of bricks.  Where I come to the realization that I have only so much of something left.  This weekend, it was while coaching first base in a 14U baseball game. 

It was late Friday night, it was drizzling rain, and it was forty degrees.  Not exactly ideal baseball weather.  After a long day’s work, rushing to the ballpark to get there in time, and enduring these conditions, I found myself tired and inwardly pouting about my circumstances. 

Then…that countdown moment came.  Staring off into the field, it hit me.  Grant has three summers of baseball left before he graduates.  Three, two, one, and….none.  It woke me up to the reality at some point, I will wish that I was at that field on a late Friday night, after a long day’s work, after rushing to get there on time, in the drizzling rain, and in forty-degree weather. 

That moment provoked two thoughts within me that I wanted to share this week:

Count Down More

I was decent at math in school.  I took my last math class as a freshman at Kennesaw State University.  Four years later, I went to take the Graduate Records Exam to gain entry into a master’s program.  I realized I had forgotten much of what I had learned.  Why?  Because I lacked repetition.  I hadn’t done it in a while. 

If counting down can positively redirect our thoughts and emotions, why don’t we do it more?  Why don’t we get more repetitions in that space?  Sure, sometimes countdowns can stir negative emotions.  They work towards the end of something special.

On the flipside, it puts things into perspective.  It paints a reality that puts us in a place of deep appreciation for where we are at right now.  The more we countdown, the better we utilize what time is left on the clock. 

Be Present

Before I had my countdown moment, I was focused on a space and a place that was dry and warm.  My truck, my house, or my bed!  After my countdown moment, it locked me into the now.  I was present in the moment.  The crack of the bat, the pop of the mits, the chatter from the dugout.  Everything appeared way clearer.  It enhanced the experience.

I believe that being present is one of the hardest things to master as a human being.  In a world of busyness, distraction, and noise, it’s hard to be still.  A world in which what is NEXT can dominate our minds more than what’s going on NOW.  Even when we reach stillness, it can still be difficult to be present.  To genuinely and authentically be in that moment. 

Presence could quite simply be one of the gifts that we could give to ourselves and others.  When we are present in the moment, not much else matters.  The worries of tomorrow fade as fast as the sands in the hourglass slipping away. 


Our lives and leadership journeys are a series of countdowns.  They have impacted our lives since we were kids.  Whether it was counting down to the last days of school before summer vacation, the number of days until you got your driver’s license, and the number of days before graduation.  Then our countdowns roll into the number of days before the wedding day, the birth of our children, and that upcoming vacation.  The countdowns keep coming until retirement. 

I would leave you with the same challenge I give myself when I find myself in these moments of reflections.  Don’t just count down, make what we have left count.  Every game, every birthday, every anniversary, every reason for celebration…make it count.  Every year, every month, every day, every hour, every minute, every second…make it count.      


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