I recently watched the documentary “My Time After Awhile” about Buddy Guy. Guy is one of the most famous and revered American blues guitarists, as well as an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has long been one of my favorite guitarists. In the documentary, Guy says, “I believe God put everyone on this Earth for a reason not a season.”
I immediately filtered this word play through the perspective of infinite and finite games. When you are focused on the infinite game, you are playing to advance your just cause, i.e., your REASON. Whereas, when you are focused on the finite game, at the exclusion of the infinite perspective, you are playing to conquer and secure the victory of your SEASON of time.
A season is finite. Similarly, the entirety of our lives can be categorized as season of time, which is also finite. However, reasons for existence are infinite. This juxtaposition of seasons versus reasons is a great reminder for asking the questions “what’s it for?” “why?” and “will this matter a 100 years from now?” I believe the notion of legacy is a very useful lens for gaining perspective and seeing beyond our natural wiring to more regularly be focused on shorter timespans.
How does a baseball team that knows they won’t be going to the playoffs perform during their last game of the season? It all depends on whether their mindset is reason oriented or season oriented…
Yes, the season is over and winning this game will not change how their season ends. However, there will be play beyond this season, there are fans that are invested in this one game, and players should hold themselves to higher values of work ethic than only making a worthwhile effort when the outcome has immediate consequences.