Monday, January 08, 2007

Interfering Thoughts

Have you ever said "What was I thinking?!?" in exasperation? Can you identify moments throughout your day where you are 'lost' in your thoughts and can't concentrate on what you need to concentrate on? I saw a classic example of that in the Dallas Cowboys vs. Seattle Seahawks wildcard playoff game on Saturday, January 6, 2007. Dallas was about to kick the winning field goal from less than 20 yards away with 1:19 left in the game. Yet, Tony Romo - the quarterback that saved the season bobbled the snap and ended it. All Romo had to do was catch the snap and place the football on its tip so Grammatica could kick it through the uprights. Romo had done it many times before. Yet on this particular instance, something broke his concentration and he failed to perform the simple tasks he was out there to perform. "What was he thinking?!?" is a statement that I'm sure many Cowboys fans were asking. Some people may say that it was a physical mistake - the ball slipped out of his hands. I believe it was a mental mistake. He lost concentration on his task and it resulted in the end of the season for his entire team. Luckily, we don't all live our work lives in front of thousands of screaming fans. Our mistakes aren't broadcast over the airways to millions more fans. Yet, our lapses in concentration can be just as disappointing, just as demoralizing as Tony's muffed hold. How can we avoid these lapses or, at least, lessen their occurrences? Here's one suggestion... by understanding our thoughts and learning to control those thoughts that are interfering with our success.

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