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Perspective: Lessons From A Gunslinger

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Wyatt Earp


Wyatt Earp was born on this day in Monmouth, Illinois, in 1848.  Earp gained fame from notorious Wild West scrapes including the Gunfight at the OK Corral.  Earp, a sort of Renaissance man, created businesses, was sheriff in many towns, and searched for gold, usually ended his capers in better standing than when he started.  Earp must have loved a good challenge.  He said, “Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.”  Can we benefit from this wisdom honed from a gunslinger? 


Because speed is touted as power nowadays, we should pause to consider.  I doubt Earp believed that slow and steady wins the race; he did say that fast is fine.  While speed sometimes requires shortcuts, shortcuts lack finesse.  Our minds race and our thoughts don’t always get worked out before time is called.  Quality is lost when we don’t have the practice or technique.   

Without time and practice, we settle for less.  It takes practice to be accurate.  Practice is a series of false starts, missteps, poor timing, and distraction.  These lead to a stronger, clearer understanding of detail.  Embracing that detail produces finesse.   

Practicing our skill, creating accuracy provides space for excellence.  When we take our time to become accurate, we are more likely to succeed in our challenges, like Earp.  

Speeding through our days only gives vague impressions of our world.  Slowing down to practice, we can find the beauty in accuracy and quality of life. 

I’m Elsa Glover and that’s my perspective. 

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