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super bowl 2017

4 Life Lessons I Learned From Super Bowl 2017

4 life lessons I learned from Super Bowl 2017, was found not in the classroom or in a sanitized corporate environment. No, these lessons were taught on the ground and helmet to helmet in the rough and hard hitting world of Professional Football.

super bowl 2017The world of professional sports isn’t for the faint of heart, the meek in nature nor is it an arena for those that are satisfied with just showing up and having a little fun. It’s the world in miniature, it’s designed for those that want to win with all their might, strength, courage and focus.

No one can deny, even those that may not care for football that much, that Superbowl 2017 was a one of a kind game that isn’t likely to be seen again for many years if ever.

After the game was over as I drove home, I couldn’t help but feel that there was something besides just a great game that went on that evening. After a very short time it became obvious that something was to be learned, something that transcended just a great and volatile gridiron game. So let’s get on with…

4 Life Lessons I Learned From Super Bowl 2017

Lesson Number 1

Starting strong doesn’t mean you’ll finish strong.

shooting starThrough the years I’ve seen many rising stars come on the scene, no matter what the scene may be. We’ve all at one time or another been reminded of someone who at one time seemed like they were destined for stardom, but then when we’re asked about them or if we remember them we respond with something like, “Yeah, I remember that name. Whatever happened to them? I haven’t heard that name in years.” Shooting stars start bright but then they’re gone.

We may have been reminded of someone in Hollywood who seemed destined to have a great career then, well, nothing. Years go by and we never hear their name again. It may have been a person who, based on the aggressive manner in which they came on the scene, seemed to be destined to be a mover and shaker in the business world. Someone we thought would be there forever, then Poof. They weren’t heard of again.

I could go on and on about the many times we’ve all heard a name and said, “I wonder what happened to them?” We’ve all asked that question from time to time.

Now, we know the Atlanta Falcons won’t disappear from pro football, but my point is starting strong doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily finish strong. Hitting the street with everything you’ve got takes a toll. While it’s important to take a lead or close to it if you can, it’s more important to think out your strategy for the long haul and not just for the next play.

Each step is important but having a long term goal, strategy and well thought out plan is vital. We’ve all seen the shooting star that eventually burns out for one reason or another. It’s important for us to think things out, get counselchecklist from others especially from successes in our chosen endeavor, and find out how and why they lasted. Look at all the lottery winners that are now broke or miserable, and look at other success stories who are no longer success stories.

Common sense, durability, resilience and a steady focus are character traits that will get you to where you want to be in life. It’s easy to spend all our strength and tactics at the beginning and have little left to help us get over the finish line.

Lesson Number 2

Being behind doesn’t mean you’ll stay behind.

horse racingCan you just imagine the mental fortitude it took to continue to play in that game when every time you check the scoreboard you’re behind? Talk about disheartening! Talk about having the wind taken out of your sails!

Over and over and over, you look and you’re behind, sometimes way behind. That’s what Brady and the Patriots had to deal with. Before the half, Brady and the Pats hadn’t gone through four drives without scoring since 2014….until now. By the time the half came the mighty Patriots were behind 21 to 3. The Falcons had dominated the Pats in every way one could think of.

I can’t imagine what the attitude in the locker room was, but I know what it wasn’t. That point in time required mental toughness and spiritual tenacity of the highest caliber.

So, when the Falcons and the Patriots came out onto the field after the half, the Patriots were ready to see the game start to change, right? Well they may have been ready but the game didn’t change, at least not much. Going into the 4th quarter it was Falcons 28, Patriots 9.

9?!? Just a little single digit 9?

We’re talking the beginning of the 4th Quarter, not the beginning of the 2nd Quarter. Oh and by the way, the whole world was watching! That’s all, just the whole sports world! Pressure I guess!

This is where Lesson 3 comes in…

Lesson 3

Just because time is almost up and you’re still behind (maybe way behind), still doesn’t mean you’ll stay behind.

And folks, THIS is where you decide what you’re made of. This is where you decide what your destiny is.

woman jumpingIt is at this point where you totally and completely make up your mind that you’re either a person of destiny or you give up on your dream. And it’s time to verbally admit to yourself that those truly are the options.

When you see very little chance of taking the game home, when everything in the natural says you’re not up to the challenge, when you’re constantly bombarded with thoughts of fatigue and failure, it’s at this point that many go away emotionally and mentally, or you choose to completely focus.

It’s at this time of decision that you specifically delineate what it is that you want to be remembered for. I can mention the names of celebrities, sports figures and business leaders that made great impact on society, at least at one time. But generation or two later if you mention their name they may be remotely known of, but not with any specificity.

So this requires the next question to be:

What is the main endeavor that others can benefit from, whether your name or person is remembered or not, that will last a very, very long time?

This is the time where you divide and conquer.  Now, I said this is where you focus and this is where you divide and conquer so obviously  the next question is…

Focus on what and divide what?

The answer is, the options.

Lesson Number 4

You may feel that you’re totally out of time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re totally out of time. There’s always a way.time and peopleThe Patriots, during the four quarters of regular game time, were never ahead, never. Not even at the end of the 4th quarter were the Patriots ahead.  The game had to go into overtime to decided a winner.

You are probably thinking, “But life doesn’t give overtimes. There’s only so much time allotted and when it’s over, it’s over.”

Let me explain something very carefully and clearly. Once a person has made the final decision as to what the main focus of their life should be, no matter where or at what point you are in life, things both speed up and they slow down.

Let’s go back to the prior comment that options are what’s left for us to divide with accuracy and focus. Everyday we have a myriad of optional situations that we must choose to give our time to. Some are vital of course, they deal with our basic requirements of existence, and some are just nice but one can live without them, and then there’s the character and duty issues.

Character and duty issues are those things that linger in our thoughts for the longest periods of time while they continue to simmer. They may or may not take precedent, one over another until that point in time that we noted in Lesson Number 3.

valuesThese are the issues, the duties that weigh on our hearts and that simply do not go away quietly. We all have them, those things we, if the world was perfect, would truly and from our core base, like to do not for applause, not for money but simply because they’re good and they’re right. They’re our calling in life.

These are the things that truly make up our core selves. There comes a time when time itself announces that the “now or never” time frame is closely approaching. And that’s when we start to get a little queasy inside because we know that this is what we’re supposed to be doing as the crowning achievement of our life.

Once we sift through the options and consider doing one over another, we always come to the conclusion either to go forward or not. When we choose to go forward by definition of time, something has to give. So we choose which behaviors and activities must be lessened (that’s where we gain time – overtime if you will) and which are to be focused towards and delivered on.

It’s these times of decisions, these decisions that defines us as being truly adult.  I’ve always believed that there are fewer real adults in the world than we think. A person gets older, wears nicer clothing, has a job and some influence, but many tend, to some degree, to continue  play the same games they did in middle school, high school and college. They just have more influence and control. We see this everyday played out in the political realm.

But then there’s those blessed few that come to a place in their lives and they the choice to live outside of themselves and give themselves to something that calls them, that something that will define them as fully mature adults, and that will last through many coming generations, if not eternity.

Everyone has his or her own decision time, when they hear that inner voice that says, “Now, focus and discipline yourself now, with everything you’ve got, and put the small things aside.”

 

 

 

 

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