I was listening to a photo podcast the other day and they talked about a commencement speech that they referenced. Where the speaker talked about a dog and a tennis ball. I have to admit that I’ve been taking in by this idea. I listened to this on Tue and am still thinking about it today, Sunday morning.
All I knew about this speech was that it was at MIT. So I did a little digging and found that it was Drew Huston’s speech for the class of 2013. Drew Huston is the founder of Dropbox. He recounts his story of creating a life well lived. I read through the speech and found the section I was looking for. I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to take my own spin on this.
When I was married my now ex-brother in law had a dog. It was a mutt. This dog was so obsessed with fetching he was totally out of control. No one could come to the house and not have this dog nudge your leg, have him bark at you, sit at your feet, and shove a stick with his nose all in an effort to get you to throw it for him to fetch. And if you did throw it, you were on the hook. He would fetch anything, a stick, a stone, a ball, anything. He was relentless. He would get so excited and enjoyed this so much that I’m sure he only dreamt about retrieving things.
Now years before I had a Labrador Retriever that while he was so obedient and good at doing tricks, he just hated playing fetch. I was so disillusioned, I loved the idea of playing fetch with a dog. He was a retriever for god’s sake, it’s supposed to be in his blood. But you would throw a ball, frisbee or something, and he’d go get it and lay it at your feet. But by the second or third time you did this he’d just look at you and either lay down or go after it and lay down there. He had no interest in playing fetch.
So, what’s your tennis ball? What is it that sets you a running? What do you find yourself doing over and over again? This reminds me of a quote I came across a while back that I’ve seen attributed to Aristotle and Will Durant. No matter the origin, it’s worth taking to heart.