“Running Out The Clock.”
I love basketball and have suggested this sport can influence how we see our lives (here’s a recent blog post). Before 1954 in the National Basketball Association and 1985 in the NCAA, there was an expression of “running out the clock” with a “four corners offense” meant to stall when you’re winning the game. Some pundits have suggested the Biden campaign has been “running out the clock.” Not a good idea.
A few of my friends told me that I was “running out the clock” when I moved to Baja. And who knows, maybe at first, I was. Then, a little over three years ago, I found myself running on the beach and experiencing a “Baja Aha” epiphany—why is it that we have no schools or tools to help people navigate their midlife transitions, or to help them feel more relevant and purpose-driven?
To keep the basketball metaphor alive, the 24-second clock was suddenly reset, and I had suddenly found my passion. The Modern Elder Academy was born.
Of course, it’s very well possible that the seed had been planted years before. During the Great Recession, I lost five friends to suicide (all men between ages 42-52). None of these men had a roadmap to understand the treacherous economy or the slippery period of their lives. Their clock had run out, with no solution, and no hope. The fact is, we’re living longer, power is moving younger, and the world is changing faster. It’s bewildering for so many of us. We need tools to navigate these transitions.
What do I recommend? Stop looking at the clock and forget about the length of the game (you may live longer than you expect). And while you’re at it, go find your own version of “running on the beach.” Your own Baja Aha epiphany. Your calling. Your legacy. Trust your instincts. Take your time. Be patient.
And remember, you have more to offer the world than you can even imagine. If that sounds crazy, sit down with a close friend and ask them about your gifts. Gifts were meant to be offered, not hoarded based upon “running out the clock.”