“Don’t look at the scoreboard,” is a theme often emphasized in the sports world. Coaches teach this concept to get their players to focus on the current play rather than letting the score dictate their actions. I see a lot of games lost because players look up at the scoreboard and notice that they are winning by a large margin so they inherently start to relax and lose intensity. Vice versa, I see players simply give up if they notice that their losing score, coupled with the time remaining on the clock, seem insurmountable. Relax when you are ahead, give up when things don’t go your way……. Sound familiar?
See, I believe that sports is a metaphor of life and the scoreboard is no exception. Right now, many of us are impatiently waiting for the scoreboard to tell us if we are ahead or behind. We want to know if we are winning or losing and how much time is left on the clock. However, in our world today, there are no magic numbers on the scoreboard. We are all stuck in limbo with the scoreboard unchanged and no end in sight. In this time of waiting many people are growing frustrated and becoming unmotivated. While I certainly understand and empathize with these feelings, the truth of the matter is that the scoreboard means very little. If we focus on the process, on giving our best every single day, it doesn’t matter if we don’t know exactly what the future holds because we know what we hold. If we create a life built on contributing rather than taking, we can fill up our lives with purpose, love, and joy no matter what obstacles are swirling around us.
We have to let go of the rat race in order to enjoy the moments. If we spend our days worrying that our children will be left on the losing side of the scoreboard with online education, anxious that our job could be gone at any moment, or frustrated that our bank account isn’t as big as our neighbors, we will miss out on what’s right in front of us. If we put our focus on falling behind, we will never catch up, and, we will miss the moments. I realize that none of what I’m saying is easy, but I firmly believe that if we can stay true to our values and live with intention and faith we will be better off not just now, but for the rest of our lives.
To borrow an Al Pacino quote, in order to build endurance during these tough times we need to focus on,“the 6 inches in front of our face.” That’s where life is meant to be lived – right smack dab in front of us. And, if we focus on those 6 inches we will not only endure, we will thrive. You see in sports, the scoreboard really does “take care of itself.” Teams that have this process-oriented mindset win more games because they are able to quickly let go of the previous play and move onto the next. They are able to attach the present moment to the next best action. You can use that exact same philosophy to excel in your own life with one caveat….. there is no scoreboard.
I know, I know, what about the people with the million dollar homes and white picket fences with 2.5 kids that travel the world in fast cars and yachts? I hear you, and, having worked with incredibly successful clients, I can tell you that they are just as lost and confused as you and I. The material things may give someone a mark on a scoreboard, but those of us truly living life in the present moment aren’t looking up at it.
You want to know what a scoreboard can’t tell you…………..how well you lived, how many people you served, and what you contributed to those you love. These are the things that make our worlds go ’round and you can’t put them up on a scoreboard. Are the big houses and fancy nice, of course! Are you going to look back at 99 years old and think, “wow, did I have a nice marble countertop in my kitchen?” probably not.
If comparison is the thief of a joy, than trying to reach a certain “score” in your life is the thief of you actually living your life! As we enter this month of August with a focus on endurance I can assure you that if you put your energy and attention on living your best life “6 inches” at a time you will not only endure, you will change the world. And you know what the world needs right now, a few more change makers!
Forget the scoreboard. Enjoy the process. Embrace the process. Live the process ALL OUT in everything you do. The score will take care of itself.
Cheers to a life lived in up close and personal!
Now let’s go make some lemonade out of all these lemons!
Love & Lemonade,