Breaking Down a Marty-ism

There are Yogi-isms and there are Marty-isms. 

Both can get you really thinking. There is one major difference.

Yogi-sms are funny, clever self-contradictions that seem to not make sense. Yet, they sort-of do.

Marty-isms are also clever and funny, but they make serious points that can help people navigate through life. They reinforce the principles that Marty has been preaching for years, principles he still finds applications for every day. 

In a recent conversation, he voiced a Marty-ism that really stuck with me. “You can’t manage anything unless you understand it.”

Wow, I thought. That’s so simple. So I asked him to elaborate. His first thought was his golf game. Marty explained how understanding something is often the result of trial and error.

“I tried this and I tried that until I felt that something worked pretty good. I was wrong for so many years, and now this is the best I have played. I got all the wrinkles out. Because I understand it.”

Marty experimented with different clubs and how to deal with different shots. 

“Everything I learn is from trial and error.”

Ol’ Buddy also gave the example of controlling one’s weight. He talked about a balance between exercising and eating, researching, and just figuring things out. And turning a negative attitude into a positive one.

“Some people don’t have the discipline. I understand it,” said Marty, who has also sought to understand his health issues. After some time of working at it, he now feels he’s managing his health.

After talking to Marty, I began to think about myself, as well as close friends and family, and how each person deals with adversity, trying to learn something new or trying to overcome something. Sports, business, health. Doesn’t matter. Everything in life, noted Marty. Unless you understand it, you can’t manage it.

My first thought was about my latest personal craze, pickleball (yes, I’ve moved on from tennis). It looks easy to hit the ball back and forth, and many people do just that and have fun with it. However, there are things about the game that one needs to understand before they can master it. Specifically, to be considered a high-level player, you have to know how to slow the game down, which is non-intuitive. 

I’m sure we all have similar stories of when we felt we understood something enough to manage it. Or not!  Sometimes, we come up short, but we’re always still learning and trying to understand that which we don’t know.

Ann LoPrinzi