Saturday, May 2, 2015

Head In The Game

Sometimes, I just want to sit out. When things become overwhelming, or the rules become too hard to follow, or I'm tired of my team or the other team or the odds, I'd rather be on the bench or in the dugout or nowhere near the field at all. It is tempting, at these times, to take myself out of the game completely--to avoid the stress and the rule-following and the overall wear and tear. The problem is, it's really hard to win if you're not even in the game.

I would imagine we all want at least the chance of winning, whether on the field or in life, so how do we keep ourselves "in the game"?

1. Learn the game and get the right equipment for it. Sometimes, staying in the game requires new knowledge or a new skill. If we don't pay the dues, we're likely to pay the price.

2. Get warmed up, and STAY warmed up. We wouldn't run a mile on the track without stretching first. We shouldn't try to run the miles of life without taking care of our bodies and brains daily--whether with good food, exercise, or simply doing things we enjoy.

3. Break (or at least bend) the rules sometimes. It may not be allowed in baseball or basketball or hockey, but in life, sometimes we do better when we allow ourselves a little creativity.

4. Use the team. Even if we feel we're in it alone, chances are, we have a team that can cheer us on. There's nothing wrong with needing a little cheering on to keep us going.

There will be times when we find ourselves on the sidelines, by our choice or by someone else's--it's hard to avoid. But when we keep those times short, when we fight to keep ourselves in the game, we see how strong we really are. We see how well we stand up to the competition. We see that we can do things we might never even have tried. And we allow ourselves something that we can only get if we stay in the game--the chance to win.

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