“Think! How you gonna think and hit at the same time!”
~ Yogi Berra
I’ve long been a great fan of Yogi Berra and his “Yogi-isms.” “It ain’t over till it’s over” and “The future ain’t what it used to be” are just a couple of the most famous comments credited to him. Behind the humor of his sayings, a real truth often comes through these gems.
“Think! How you gonna think and hit at the same time!” has been a favorite of mine for some time. The underlying point is that thinking sometimes gets in your way. You can get stuck over-thinking a situation or the task at hand, when what is called for is for you to just do – just act, just respond, just go with it.
I find myself getting too caught up in thinking at times – trying to decide what I want to do next, how to respond to an email or trying to sit down to write. When I think too much about writing or what I want to write about, my words feel and sound very labored and lifeless. It is when I just write, or get in front of a group of people and just speak, the right words seem to flow. I know I do my best work then because that’s when others respond. I feel like I’m being my most genuine self.
To do your best work often means that, like Yogi, you just need to step into the batter’s box and respond to the pitch. In his film, Celebrate What’s Right With the World, DeWitt Jones offers up another perspective. Marion Campbell is the best weaver in all of Scotland, and Jones is on assignment from National Geographic to photograph her. He asks her, “What do you think about when you weave?” Her response: “When I weave, I weave.” My response would be, “When I write, I write.” Yogi might have said, “When I hit, I hit.”
When do you do your best work? How would you fill in the blanks: “When I _____________, I ________________.”