Stewardian fantasies

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Steve and I have been friends for over thirty years now. We have quite a bit in common, including a love for sports. When we are together, we often talk about “what if’s” relating to how we would do in certain situations, though we tend to focus on sporting events. Steve’s last name is Steward, so, naturally, we have coined these as Stewardian fantasies. We can make up an endless list of these that can keep us entertained for hours (much to the chagrin of our wives, at times). Anyway, I thought it might be of interest to some of you to ponder these yourselves. (There is a point in this, but you need to read all the way to the end.)

Steve and I usually start these fantasies by throwing out some ridiculous wager. For example, would you bet your car for a chance to win $1M? Or, would you do _____ for $1M? OK, so here are a few for you to consider:

Would you bet your car (or house or $10,000 or whatever) to win $1M if you could…

  1. Make contact batting against Sandy Koufax (Hall of Fame baseball pitcher from the 60’s for the Los Angeles Dodgers) in ten pitches?
  2. Last one round with Muhammad Ali (in his prime) in a boxing match without getting knocked out?
  3. Beat Usain Bolt, world record holder in the 100m dash, if he gave you a 50m head start?
  4. Get a hole-in-one if you could hit shots all day long on a 125 yard golf hole?
  5. Make 50 basketball free throws in a row if you had all day long to try?
  6. Kick a 30 yard field goal in less than 50 attempts?
  7. Allow fewer than 25 goals in an NHL hockey game if you were the goalie?
  8. Allow fewer than 10 goals playing a World Cup soccer game for any team if you were the goalie?
  9. Guarding Stephen Curry (considered the best basketball player in the NBA), could you hold him to fewer than 100 points in a regular, full basketball game?

Or, would you do any of the following for a straight $1M in cash?

  1. Stand knee deep in the middle of the Okefenokee swamp in Florida all night without any weapons, phone, or available help until morning?
  2. Ride a bicycle without brakes down a mountain road?
  3. Sing the Star Spangled Banner at next year’s Super Bowl game?

Or, if you had unlimited time (e.g., no job or other obligations), could you, in exactly one year, do any of these for $1M?

  1. Learn to play a new musical instrument well enough to be considered an expert?
  2. Learn to play golf well enough to score below par at Augusta National golf course?
  3. Get a book, song, or poem written and published?
  4. Learn to re-assemble a completely disassembled car, then start it and drive it away on your first attempt after re-assembly?
  5. Gather eight of your friends and play an entire 162 game baseball season… could you win even one game?

I have to admit, thinking about and discussing these hypothetical “fantasies” are fun, but the end result is nothing productive. However, the process of using your imagination does often stimulate you to try something you have been fearful to try or something you formerly thought impossible. For example:

  • Have you ever considered starting your own business, but either didn’t know how to start or were afraid to try? Imagine the possibilities. Why not give it a try?
  • Have you ever avoided saying something because you were afraid of the answer? I have attended four funerals or visitations in just the last 3 months and have developed an even greater appreciation for the fragility of life and time. If there is something on your heart than someone needs to hear, why not say it today?
  • Have you been wanting to learn that new skill, start a new hobby, or take that trip you’ve always wanted to take? What are you waiting for?
  • Have you avoided taking even small risks for fear of the consequences? Most, if not all, successful people have taken significant risks in their lives. Today might be the day to step out of your comfort zone.
  • Do you know you need to make a significant change in your life or lifestyle, but have delayed it? Do you miss more of your kids’ games, concerts, or events than you make? Are you overdue call your parents, friends, or others?

What is your fantasy today? If you can imagine it, you can accomplish it… if you are willing to work for it and take the risk. Go for it! Today could be your best day yet… or at least the best day yet to try something new.

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