My friend and his fiancé were playing tennis.
They were about 2 weeks away from getting married and everything was going well.
But something changed on that court.
Maybe she wasn’t looking as good, maybe he was feeling a bit sick, maybe he just was feeling off. Whatever the reason, he all of a sudden…just didn’t feel it.
As a result, he almost broke off the entire thing.
Luckily, he didn’t, and now, 25 years later, he has a very happy and fulfilling marriage.
As he was telling me this story, I couldn’t help but think of what that means for me and how often I put so much stock in my CURRENT—moment-by-moment—emotions on a date that I don’t give things a chance.
See, if I feel ‘off’ about a date, I don’t ask them out again; if I feel ‘on,’ I do.
But whoa whoa whoa whoa! There are so many factors that go into how I feel at any given moment, only a portion of which have anything to do with the girl. My emotions might be completely out of both her control and mine when I arbitrarily decide to take my emotional temperature.
It isn’t about that moment as much as it is how things are trending over time.
There are plenty of emotional snapshots, or thin slices, that, when taken for what they are, look ‘off’ when they are, in the long run ‘on’ and, quite frankly, visa versa.
It is just likes stocks.
Take a look at these three stocks. Looking at this, would you say they are good or bad investments? (dollars per share is on the right and time is on the bottom in each chart)
They all look pretty bad in these snapshots. Well, do you know who they are?
Here is the whole picture, with the portion above highlighted.
Any stock can have a bad day.
These are all snapshots that make these stocks look like an awful investment, but if you look at the TRENDS, these moments are just bad examples of a positive trend.
Conversely, there are stocks like Enron, where it looks like it is heading up with great days and then crashes and dies (much like my third dates)…but that is perhaps for another time.
So what are you expecting me to do, Zack? Go in with a brazen blindfold over my heart and put on my accounting hat to calculate the positive investment potential of a relationship?!
What I’m saying is that we go in with our minds and hearts open to the potential of love while giving the relationship a chance despite an ‘off’ day and not giving too much credit to an ‘on’ day.
What I’m saying is that we all need to do an honest inventory of how much stock we place in our emotions and I, for one, have realized that I’ve passed a lot of great trends because of a snapshot at the wrong time period.
What I’m saying is that we all need to take a step back and not stress so much just because it is one moment.
The ‘on or off’ calibration of human emotions is a highly inaccurate estimate in the moment, for a moment. From what I hear, even marriages have on days and off days, on weeks and off weeks, and yes, even on months and off months.
Because as my friend proved on that tennis court and as those snapshots of some of the most successful companies in the world metaphorically proves, if there is commitment AND love, chances are, you’ll bounce back.
And yes…this IS a post giving a shout out to the fact that this is my last week of MBA classes.