Friday, January 19, 2007

Playing to Win vs. Playing Not to Lose

Well, since it's still football season, I seem to be thinking a lot about the game and how it is a reflection of life. Today my thoughts focus around the 'prevent' defense. How many of you hate it when your favorite team goes into the 'prevent' defense with a small lead at the end of the game?
I can't STAND it! Those Pittsburgh Steelers have gone almost 60 minutes playing their style of football according to their game plan and then just because the clock is running down, they stop doing what got them into the lead in the first place. Does anyone else have a problem with this? Why after all of the challenges and struggles of the game do they then play NOT to lose?
What causes us to play not to lose instead of continuing to play to win? Are we tired? Do we think we've done enough? Do we really think that the 'prevent' defense 30 yards off of the line of scrimmage prevents the other team from scoring any more than playing according to their game plan? What do we attribute our lead to? goodluck?
I am perplexed by this yet I see it in my life and the lives of my many successful friends. We get to a point where we're doing "ok". We think we're going to make our sales numbers... We think we're going to make our delivery deadlines... but do we really believe it?
Are our thoughts telling us that we don't deserve to win? Do we think that we are entitled to the victory if we just stay on the field until the time runs out? Are we afraid that we might lose?
Why is it that we hold back? We drive through our lives with one foot on the accelerator and the other on the brake. Dale Carnegie said, "Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy." What's holding you back and sabotaging your action?
Boy, I've asked a lot of questions today. I honestly believe that if we just focused all the way through our task and didn't get into a mode of coasting or sitting back and letting the game come to us, we would be so much more successful. So, how can we do that?
All of our actions, or lack thereof, comes from our thoughts. We could release the brake if we just knew which thoughts to believe and which thoughts to ignore. Have you ever taken a step back and analyzed how you think? Let me encourage you to do that with this shameless plug for my free assessment. Taking a free online assessment, and viewing and listening to the online debriefing can help. Click the link below to start the process.

Life is too precious to spend 'playing not to lose.' We need to grab the day by the horns and make the best investment of those 24 hours. We never get to go back and relive them again.
Make it a point not to slack or coast at the end of your day, end of your week, or end of your month. Play to win all the time, especially in the final moments - that's when your efforts may matter the most. Make the ending to each day a powerful ending and you'll never regret the effort - even if you come up short sometimes... we all do. Only by finishing strong will you know that you have laid the foundation for a terrific start in the morrow and the incredible victory that lies ahead.

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