One of my favorite sports writers - Bill Simmons of ESPN has op-ed his weekly column this week with Malcom Gladwell of “Blink” and “Tipping Point” fame.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/060302

they talk about why some athletes perform the best when they are in their contract year - well thats understandable but usually they dont live up to their fat contracts the first year of their signings - thats understandable too- they jsut dont work that hard. What is interesting is the parallel drawn to regular people - if everyone gives their best at everything we do, then we will have a different world - it doesnt happen- we prioritize, laziness kicks in , 2 year olds distract us and the list goes on and on- as Malcom suggests do we really not prepare our best every time with an inherent fear of coming up short ? If we dont prepare our best, we can always use the excuse of “hey , had I put my mind to this, I would have aced this - its no big deal” - but if we put in our best and failed it would mean that we are plain stupid or inept at the task. As they say - “at the end of it all - we all will have a long list of excuses or a list of accomplishments”

Gladwell’s blog is here -> http://gladwell.typepad.com

Another interesting topic here is the “Jake Plummer” phenomenon- where do we draw teh line between an individual and a system. Tom Friedman wrote a colum on NY Times recently to the same effect in reference to Saddam and Iraq. Someone is going to make some cash by researching this one day !