Write More in the Book

This is a great article about Joe Montana that is more about aging, accomplishment, and legacy than it is about football.

“Every player in history wants to write more in the book,” Young says. “I think about that all the time.”

His voice gets softer.

“No matter how much you write,” he says, “you want to write more.”

“The day you retire you fall of a cliff,” he says. “You land in a big pile of nothing. It’s a wreck. But it’s more of a wreck for people who have the biggest book.”

It’s one thing to understand that there is always going to be someone bigger, smarter, faster, richer, more attractive, or more successful. One of my psychological advantages over the course of my life is that I always understood that and was entirely comfortable with it. I’ve never been the best at anything I’ve done; even on the various occasions that I was a champion my accomplishments were overshadowed by the previous champion or by my teammates.

My best friend is smarter. My brothers are better-looking. My bandmate is far more talented and has a much better voice. I wasn’t even the MVP of the conference-winning team for which I was the leading scorer and scored in every game. So be it. Things are precisely what they are, and all any of us can do is the best that we can. Comparisons with others are not only futile, they are irrelevant, because life outside the ring, the track, or the field is not a competition.

But the one desire that everyone who is successful shares is to write more in the record book. Throw one more touchdown pass. Score one more goal. Write one more book.

Unlike Joe Montana and Tom Brady, I can still do what I do. I’ve got about 15 more years to be at the top of my writing game. If I’m very fortunate, 25 more years. Hence my annual writing goal of 365,000 words per year, which as of yesterday was running at 121.5 percent of goal.