REFLECTION: This is a bit of a diversion from the usual Pause fare, but football is on my mind this week. If you are from Saskatchewan or follow the CFL (Canadian Football League), you’ll know that our beloved Roughriders competed in the Grey Cup final on Sunday.
The Riders played well against a formidable opponent – at least until the final moments of the game. With seconds to go and the lead in hand, a Saskatchewan error (one too many players on the field) gave the Alouettes a second chance after a botched field goal. This time the Montreal kick was successful and the Alouettes clinched the title by just one point.
With the flick of a flag and the tip of a toe, Roughrider players, coaches and fans took a nose dive from elation to deflation. I’m sure the players are struggling mightily to come to terms with the error and its impact. Yes, it’s only a game – but these guys put their hearts and souls into it.
Now, I’m neither a professional sports woman nor even an amateur, for that matter. However, the Rider schmozola reminds me of a memorable football moment of my own. At the tender age of 13, in a pick up game with friends, I went long for a pass. Losing my footing, I face-planted in the gravel, planing the skin from my chin before coming to a grinding halt in the middle of the yard. Painful and embarrassing are how I would describe the experience – even though there were no fans on the sidelines to witness my fall.
What made the situation more challenging, was that my accident occurred only a few days before the Frosh Dance – my first big high school social debut. To go, or not to go? That was the question. I ended up attending the dance, sporting a giant scab the size of a 50 cent piece smack dab in the middle of my chin.
ACTION: In retrospect, it was a defining moment. I have observed, over the years, that it’s not our errors and mishaps that define us; it’s how we handle the aftermath and the fallout that make the difference.
A self-conscious teenager could have caved to vanity and ego, but in deciding to attend the dance, somehow found the strength to declare that appearances only matter when you let them.
I hope the Rider players and coaches find a way to tap into their courage in the aftermath of one of the most challenging experiences of their professional careers.
And when you find yourself skidding on the rough patches in your life and work, I hope that you, too, find a way (in the words of that old 1930’s classic) to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “You’re stronger than you think.” – Patricia Morgan
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: For inspiration and strategies for increasing resilience, check out Patricia Morgan’s latest book, “From Woe To Wow: How Resilient Women Succeed At Work.” You can preview the highlights of Patricia’s message at: http://www.slideshare.net/PatriciaMorgan/woe-to-wow
READERS WRITE: In response to last week’s message, Shifting Perspective, Pause reader BT writes: “I’ve been a Pause subscriber for some time now and try to take a life hint from each article. This one on perspective was particularly interesting because I live my life that way as much as my busy schedule allows. I use different routes to travel to the same destination, and try to observe something different each time, participating in a totally foreign activity or reading on a subject that is likewise. I try to keep the mind alive and awake to every sense and opportunity and your articles lead me that way. Thank you for the ideas.”