I had an important realization this week that holds some value for most of us.

Do you ever tell yourself "I made my move, now the ball is in their court!" ?

I used to do it all the time. I'd tell myself things like:

• "I asked her out, she had no time. Now it's up to her to take initiative."

• "I told him I was willing to squash our beef, he reacted with hesitation so now the ball is in his court."

• "I asked for pizza, they didn't have pizza. What kind of restaurant doesn't have pizza?? This is an outrage!! I mean, it's the 21st century for god's sake! You can at least lie to me and secretly have the pizza line deliver to your kitchen. What is this? One of those MTV prank shows?? 'cause I don't think it's funny, bitch!! The ball's in your court now to satisfy me. Better act fast or my review on TripAdvisor will be be juicier than the pizza I was hoping to order."

While this type of thinking seems correct, it has a major flaw:

What if the other team simply doesn't know the ball is in their court?

It would just keep laying there to rot long after both teams already left the field because they were too tired of waiting without seeing any progress in the situation.

Just think how ridiculous it would sound if a sports coach gave his team one of the following pep talks:

• "We tried to score, but they didn't let us. So why should we bother trying again?"

• "Don't go up there guys, let the ball come to you first, then act."

• "Alright team, here's our strategy: We'll just wait for the perfect moment and then we'll score."

Sounds pretty stupid right? But we do it all the time without realizing it.

 

What If?

Next time you or me ever catch ourselves thinking it's the other person's turn to make a move, we should ask ourselves if we're willing to let that ball rot away and be left with a lot of "what if's" 5 years from now.

• What if we had both been willing to admit our mistakes and became even better friends than before because of the honest communication?

• What if you had followed up with that company one more time, they hired you and it turned out to be the start of a great career?

• What if you had asked that guy out instead of waiting for him because "it's the man's role" and you turned out to be a perfect match?

• What if I hadn't waited on those files from my coworker to finish that important job and had just done it immediately?

• What if I had just shut up and kissed her when she was wishing for it instead of wanting it to be that "perfect moment" like that (clearly incompetent) coach from earlier?

A lot of times the answer won't really bother you because you just don't care enough about the situation, but if you want something really bad you should always assume it is still your turn. Because if you don't here's some other possible "what if's" you maybe didn't think of yet:

• What if your first move was just really weak and you only kicked the ball half way?

• What if it never even reached their court? How could they ever make a move?

• What if it's still stuck on the middle line and it's actually fair play for both of you?

• What if that friend / company / gorgeous creature of the opposite sex was thinking exactly the same as you and the biggest regret you'll have is that you never knew what could've been because you were too stupid too try?

So there you have it. The ball is in your court right now.  Are you gonna be the first to walk up there and hit it as hard as you can?  Or are you just gonna keep waiting for the other team while they're waiting for you and no one ever scores?

I think you know the right answer.

 

Receive Pepijn's new articles by email.

While there's enough articles here to fill a couple of books and sell them, keeping them on this site where you can read them all for free would be much more awesome!   And it's amazing people like you who make that possible.  If you feel like these posts have helped improve your life, please consider making a donation.