If It Ain’t Done Early

If It Ain’t Done Early …

Lent 34


I like to be early for appointments.  Some might think this is because I am a hyperactive go-getter.  I am not.  Others might think it is because the early person has a better chance to control things and therefore I must be a control freak.  Again, I am not and again, I offer my abode as evidence.  My house would be much more presentable if I was a control freak.  The others who share my abode would be better trained to put their things away or not place things where they do not belong – humans such as opened mail and feet and animals regarding the use of sofas for humans and not animals. 


There are those that might think I am a very disciplines person and so am always prepared and ready ahead of time.  That might be partially correct.  Growing up I had parents whose jobs necessitated being ready to work ahead of the actual time for the work to begin.  One worked in a medical setting.  When we go to the doctor or hospital for an appointment, we want to the doctor and staff to be ready for us.  That means if our operation is scheduled for 8 AM, someone had to be there ahead of time to prepare the equipment, room, etc.  The other parent worked in media broadcasting.  We turn on the six o’clock news and expect the news broadcast to air at six o’clock.  We do not want to see cameras being placed, scripts being passed out, or hear microphone checks.  Obviously someone had to be early or start at an earlier time than others.


I spent a good many years as a professional musician.  I was a concert percussionist with several symphony orchestras.  It took longer to set up my instruments than it would take a flautist.  I needed to be early in order to be on time.  We have all heard the old adage, “The early bird gets the worm”.  Sometimes, though, the early bird is just being a bird.


There has been a great deal of study on the discipline of being early.  In 2014 the Harvard Business Review published an article about a study involving the discipline or business practice of being early.  Heinrich Greve and Marc-David Seidel studied “the role of the first mover advantage in determining which technologies get adopted and which do not.”  They specifically focused on two airplanes, one the first to be put on the market, and the other, an actual better product appearing a year later. 


Another example of this case study involved something we are all right now.  Greve and Seidel explained:  One clear example in consumer products is the keyboard that we all use, the QWERTY keyboard. It was originally designed for the typewriter industry, and one of the purposes of the design—taking the letters out of their familiar order—was to slow down typists so that they wouldn’t get the arms of the typewriter jammed. Now that we all type on computers, speed is no longer an issue, and we actually want people to type faster. But because of that early advantage, the purposely inefficient QWERTY keyboard ended up prevailing over designs that use alphabetical order.”


Disciplines are purposes and give us results.  The person who has developed the discipline of walking every day or exercising four times a week has the results of a healthier body.  Like life, disciplines require thought.  It is not simply enough to eat vegetables.  One must be thoughtful in picking said vegetables.  A diet of green beans will give a person iron and vitamins but said diet will be lacking in carbohydrates and fats and both, in moderation, are essential for a healthy body and mind.


We must feed both our bodies and our minds in order to grow a healthier and productive self.  Our garden might look pretty with ll one type of plants but such a garden is only good for viewing.  One cannot live from it.


Time management experts tell us that being early saves time and has other benefits.  As the study by Greve and Seidel illustrated, being early to the consumer market gives one a great advantage.  Being early to a meeting means you probably are beating the crowds and rush of those all trying to get somewhere at the same time.  It might also give one a chance to review things, obtain any last minute forgotten items, review one’s notes, etc.


For me, if it ain’t done early, it probably will not get done for three months.  While I love to organize and am a fairly well-organized person, I am a better procrastinator.  I excel at it, in fact.  I need to be a better balanced person in the discipline of getting things done.  I need to schedule and then work the schedule, instead of adapting the schedule.  This requires being a better advocate for myself and making myself a priority as much as I do others.


Many would say that it takes more time to be early but it doesn’t.  Science has proven it actually takes me more time to procrastinate.  Who knew?  I like being early because, for me, it is less stressful and I am all for anything that alleviates or eliminates stress.  For me, being early is a discipline, a habit I have developed over the years.  I do not have it perfected but, if I am not early, I will not be smiling.  I don’t mind waiting for those who are on time and like my few minutes of quiet. 


I just hope I am not early to my own funeral.  Life is about living and finding those disciplines or habits that help us live to the fullest.  That has no age limit.  This list has been publishes in a variety of places but I found it on Goodreads, submitted by the author listed as Pablo.  Read it and then go out and live.  It is never too early or too late to start living as long as you are breathing!


“No matter how old you are now. You are never too young or too old for success or going after what you want. Here’s a short list of people who accomplished great things at different ages
1) Helen Keller, at the age of 19 months, became deaf and blind. But that didn’t stop her. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.
2) Mozart was already competent on keyboard and violin; he composed from the age of 5.
3) Shirley Temple was 6 when she became a movie star on “Bright Eyes.”
4) Anne Frank was 12 when she wrote the diary of Anne Frank.
5) Magnus Carlsen became a chess Grandmaster at the age of 13.
6) Nadia Comăneci was a gymnast from Romania that scored seven perfect 10.0 and won three gold medals at the Olympics at age 14.
7) Tenzin Gyatso was formally recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama in November 1950, at the age of 15.
8) Pele, a soccer superstar, was 17 years old when he won the world cup in 1958 with Brazil.
9) Elvis was a superstar by age 19.
10) John Lennon was 20 years and Paul Mcartney was 18 when the Beatles had their first concert in 1961.
11) Jesse Owens was 22 when he won 4 gold medals in Berlin 1936.
12) Beethoven was a piano virtuoso by age 23
13) Issac Newton wrote Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica at age 24
14) Roger Bannister was 25 when he broke the 4 minute mile record
15) Albert Einstein was 26 when he wrote the theory of relativity
16) Lance E. Armstrong was 27 when he won the tour de France
17) Michelangelo created two of the greatest sculptures “David” and “Pieta” by age 28
18) Alexander the Great, by age 29, had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world
19) J.K. Rowling was 30 years old when she finished the first manuscript of Harry Potter
20) Amelia Earhart was 31 years old when she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean
21) Oprah was 32 when she started her talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind
22) Edmund Hillary was 33 when he became the first man to reach Mount Everest
23) Martin Luther King Jr. was 34 when he wrote the speech “I Have a Dream.”
24) Marie Curie was 35 years old when she got nominated for a Nobel Prize in Physics
25) The Wright brothers, Orville (32) and Wilbur (36) invented and built the world’s first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight
26) Vincent Van Gogh was 37 when he died virtually unknown, yet his paintings today are worth millions.
27) Neil Armstrong was 38 when he became the first man to set foot on the moon.
28) Mark Twain was 40 when he wrote “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, and 49 years old when he wrote “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”
29) Christopher Columbus was 41 when he discovered the Americas
30) Rosa Parks was 42 when she refused to obey the bus driver’s order to give up her seat to make room for a white passenger
31) John F. Kennedy was 43 years old when he became President of the United States
32) Henry Ford Was 45 when the Ford T came out.
33) Suzanne Collins was 46 when she wrote “The Hunger Games”
34) Charles Darwin was 50 years old when his book On the Origin of Species came out.
35) Leonardo Da Vinci was 51 years old when he painted the Mona Lisa.
36) Abraham Lincoln was 52 when he became president.
37) Ray Kroc Was 53 when he bought the McDonalds Franchise and took it to unprecedented levels.
38) Dr. Seuss was 54 when he wrote “The Cat in the Hat”.
40) Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III was 57 years old when he successfully ditched US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in 2009. All of the 155 passengers aboard the aircraft survived
41) Colonel Harland Sanders was 61 when he started the KFC Franchise
42) J.R.R Tolkien was 62 when the Lord of the Ring books came out
43) Ronald Reagan was 69 when he became President of the US
44) Jack Lalane at age 70 handcuffed, shackled, towed 70 rowboats
45) Nelson Mandela was 76 when he became President”



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