Can you care too much?

Or not enough in this man’s case.

Well, I’ve no doubt that a fair number of the readers of this blog have noticed that England’s Euro 2008 campaign has ended, in spectacular style.

And, amidst all of the caterwailing that followed, the inevitable accusation came – that these pampered, over exposed, overpaid players just don’t care about their country. Because I’m a perverse bugger who tends to try and see the other side of things, I think the opposite is true. If anything, I think they cared too much, that got inside their minds, and they bottled it, despite obviously having the technique to be able to get a result.

As for McClaren, well, it seems the opposite is true (I tried to find the photo of him with an umbrella, but sadly couldn’t track it down). Out thought by Slaven Bilic, dear oh dear.

And it got me thinking about caring about things, and the notion of caring too much. It’s particularly relevant to me, as I (when I’m unsure of what to do) worry unduly. Part of that is when I’m doing and learning new things.

It can be almost paralysing, especially if you publically handwring – something which doesn’t help anything or anyone (and was, let’s be honest, shown by the England team in their ‘performance’ against Croatia).

But should it be surprising? In this world, where continuous partial attention rules ok, where shuffling through vast libraries of music is the norm, and where everyone has about seven tabs open on their browser, there’s often a worry about priorities.

And given that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in something, according to Radio 4, it can seem like a massive mountain – will my performance be adequate, whether I’m an international footballer, an ad bod or a barrister? I guess the difficulty comes in just experiencing things, and not worrying about whether you’ll be up to the task (which is, I think, what happened to England on Wednesday).

So yes, experience and trying and failing rules ok when it comes to learning. Care about that. Everything else is just unnecessary window dressing, and hey – if you don’t chance your arm when you’re learning, when will you?

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