Jim Fannin has a favorite four-letter word.
No, there’s nothing vulgar about it, but he uses it with everyone he advises or coaches.
He discusses it at length in his book “Pebble In The Shoe.”
No matter what you have done – good thing or bad – you should always think of this word.
The word forces you not to rest on your laurels when you’ve done something good. It brightens your future when you do something bad. It allows you to correct mistakes, or proceed to add successes.
It doesn’t allow you to wallow, or over-celebrate. As certain as tomorrow follows today, the word ensures your future.
Love is a marvelous four-letter word, but that’s not what Fannin was thinking. Hate is an awful four-letter word, but that didn’t cross his mind either.
His four-letter word, which he uses to encourage after a failure, or curb enthusiasm after a success, is NEXT.
Think of the Disney World ads after the Super Bowl. Whoever the star of the game was gets asked what he’ll do next, now that he’s won the Super Bowl: “I am going to Disney World,” he says.
But the real “next” for that athlete is next year. You see, very few teams have gone to the Super Bowl in consecutive years. But that is always the goal. What will he have to do to get there? Certainly, after his trip to Disney World, he will begin thinking about it, and taking the necessary action to return to the Super Bowl.
In the National Football League, it’s tough to sustain that kind of success year after year. You might have the same people on the team, but injuries, age and other factors enter into play. The team might still be good the next year, but the other teams are even more motivated to beat them.
In sports, there is always “next” season.
Sometimes, life throws us curve balls. Even though they are hard to hit, we keep swinging. Success is not about taking what comes, it’s about dealing with what comes in the best way you know now. If you swing and miss, it’s OK. The “next” pitch might be a fastball down the middle, or another curve. Eventually, you’ll get a hit, even though it may not happen as often as you’d like.
Perhaps you’ll get a couple of consecutive hits. Great. Now, you look forward to that next pitch. You don’t sit on the bench and say, I’m done, or I’m out. You keep swinging.
A few types of mistakes can cost dearly. Most, however, are easily forgotten the “next” day.
The “next” day is a whole new turn at bat. Relish it, whether you struck out or hit a home run the day before.
If you are looking for new and different pitches to hit, visit You will learn the value of “next.” You’ll know that you can’t mess up so badly for so long that you won’t ever succeed. You’ll learn not to quit.
If you have something good, stay with it. Your “next” may be awhile in coming, or it may come tomorrow. If you need something good, keep looking. Your “next” is out there. You may not recognize it immediately, but eventually it will come to light if you keep looking for it.
N-E-X-T is a great four-letter word. Use it as a guide. It guarantees a future for you.