I’m going to use a few sports analogies here because I witnessed a college football game yesterday that made my point.
The UCLA Bruins were down almost 30 points at halftime. They were outplayed, outmaneuvered, and stopped cold by a team that appeared to be superior. Their coach said they went into the locker room feeling emotional, but snapped out of it.
They got their attitude back, scored all the points they needed in the fourth quarter, and won the game in the final seconds.
Their young quarterback didn’t get angry when a pass was dropped, or moody when he got sacked. He claimed later in an interview he went back out, focused on his job, remembered his training, and went to work. And he didn’t gloat after the win. “We won by centimeters,” he said, referring to balls that were almost intercepted by the opponent. “It could have gone either way.”
There is a lesson in this for all of us…focus on what you’ve been taught to do and never give up.
For writers: rejections hurt, bad reviews wound, not getting a response from an agent you’ve queried frustrates, sinking sales disappoint. Shrug it off, get up and get going. Write your next book. Then another. Focus on your training. Do your job.
For everyone else: you’ll have bad days, days when you ask yourself why you get up in the morning, days when you feel physical or emotional pain, days when you want to curl into a ball and shut out the world. Force yourself to do what you’ve been taught to do. Get moving. Tell yourself today is a going to be a good day. Change your attitude. I promise, it will help.
For me: when my spouse had his stroke my world caved in. I have bad days, but I get over them pretty quickly. My life, as I knew it, is gone. But new challenges bring new rewards. Like the UCLA quarterback, I’m determined to focus on what needs to be done, to blaze new trails, to help my spouse heal as quickly and completely as he can. I now have a can-do attitude.
If I can change, you can change and the lesson in this is a good one for all of us, because we all have obstacles to overcome…the biggest is usually believing we can.
I’ll end with another sports analogy. The San Francisco Giants (with the worst record in Major League Baseball at this writing) still have fans with tee shirts that say, “Believe.” They wear them religiously. They believe next year will be another trip to the World Series.
Focus on what you know. Adopt a positive attitude. And believe.