What sport has bigger stakes than life? Maybe you’ve never thought of life as a sport. Sports require a participant to hone skills in order to effectively complete tasks and obtain desired outcomes. In a broad sense isn’t that what life is all about? So how do sports parallel life?
Sports provide an environment to learn and apply what we learn. Results are measured to determine progress. So does life. In any game, the conditions may seem favorable or appear stacked against an individual or a team. Aspects such as inclement weather, officiating, opposing fans, and injuries can play significant roles in the outcomes.
In life, the weather may be external or internal. External weather is more apparent. Internal weather has to do with our emotional state which is based on the thoughts we harbor. Our minds may be so cluttered at times we find it challenging to express any one coherently. Here’s a clue – how do you feel? Are you calm, peaceful and at ease? Or are you distressed, strained, or agitated? Either way your thoughts are creating your feelings. The temptation is to site or blame people or things outside us as the cause of our feelings. What we experience internally however is based strictly on how we respond to situations not the situation itself.
Unless we’re steadfast of selecting our thoughts in some instances we may be tempted to say, “How would anyone feel if they experienced XYZ?” This of course functions as a justification which prevents us from moving forward. Recognize that choosing our response in no way implies we like, condone, or agree with our current circumstances. At that moment, we simply want a better set of conditions. The way to improve the condition is to first modify our thought(s) about it to allow new insights to flow. When we expect improvement based on other people or situations changing, we stall. Imagine if you were simply willing to let go of any thought that held you back or caused you uneasiness?
Officiating refers to the rules and the people who implement them. Interpretation and follow through are subjective. Sometimes these aspects will appear stacked against us. Yet we must perform. Is it right? Rightness is really not the issue. Why isn’t rightness an issue? Proving rightness does nothing to change the circumstances. We still get to choose how to respond. Where do you choose to expend your energy? Do you use it in a futile manner or in a manner that serves you and the Universe well?
How about opposing fans? In sports, the visiting team is typically viewed as the adversary and therefore has limited support in that arena. Success however is dependant on the beliefs within and the function of the team regardless of the circumstances. Life can present events that can assimilate the role of the visiting team. How well do your beliefs serve you in those conditions? Does your team uplift you or drain you?
Who is your team? Your team consists of your thoughts, your actions, and the people you choose to surround yourself with. When you choose an encouraging team you’re better able to face adversity and achieve desired outcomes. Choosing a draining team on the other hand leads to an unfulfilled life. Maybe you need to choose different teammates? In sports, coaches and players change teams all the time to achieve more desirable results. This is viewed as a means of creating a “better fit” of participants involved and outcomes desired. What if we made adjustments in our life with positive intent to align for the greater good? How well do you and your team serve each other? Remember, you choose your team.
Even the best teams sometimes experience injuries or illnesses. When is it best to “play through” and when is it best to dedicate time and attention to recharging? Sometimes we are lackadaisical and succumb to an “I don’t feel like it” mentality. Other times stubbornness to excess can rule. Berating oneself either way is detrimental. And revitalization is required for everyone to excel. So, how do we know? This is where feedback is often most valuable. To be effective we must however seek guidance from an appropriate source. For example, do not ask someone who is broke for financial advice!
How are you doing in the game of life? What external aspects are you letting control your level of performance? How consistent and persistent is your commitment to skill improvement? What about your teammates? How well do your participants align with your desires? What do your results tell you about your choices? In the game of life every moment is a new opportunity . . . Carpe diem!