During my middle school baseball days, I would run from the dugout, glove in hand, over to second base to play defense. Every time the pitcher hurled the ball to the batter, I would lightly bend my knees, hunch forward with weight on the balls of my feet and ever so slightly sway side-to-side. This body positioning wasn’t my invention—it was what the coach spent hours training us on during practice. He called it “ready position.”
There’s baseball ready position, but there’s also kindness ready position, generosity ready position, patience ready position, and just about anything else you can imagine.
When I was hunched over at second base and the batter would hit the ball several feet from me, I used the bend in my knees to spring to the side, scoop the ball in my glove and quickly toss it to first base. If I hadn’t been in ready position, I might not have been quick enough to get to the ball in time; or, perhaps, I would have been caught daydreaming at the split-second a lunge was needed, and missed the ball all together.
A person in kindness ready position reacts differently to a friend who’s quiet and withdrawn. They react differently to a beggar on the side of the road. They react differently to their own mistakes. Just like a good second baseman, they aren’t lost in the clouds but are standing in the present moment with mindfulness, able to respond quickly and effectively to any challenge that should come their way—needless to say, this kind of ready position is a major component to a life of sincerity.
A easy way to get into ready position is to start your day (or your job, family time or anything difficult) with a little gap, maybe 10 seconds, maybe an hour, and step outside your mental-emotional noise, taking a moment to reflect on your intended ready position, say, kindness, and then speak that to yourself in words:
It’s my deepest desire to greet every situation with kindness.
Don’t just say it, but rather feel it flow through your chest and gut and every pore of your body—make sure you’re not just saying some empty words, but are really acknowledging your own truth, the basic ready position in which you’d like to greet life’s offerings.
How would your put your intended ready position into words?