Words & Sports

Focus on the Game

Why? Because–The Game Matters.

Each game played is independent of anything that happens before or after. Two teams square off, the winner wins, the loser loses, it’s that simple. Are there implications? Are there consequences? Sure. But first and most important is did you win or did you lose that game.  

Why am I getting into this? Because I feel much of the world today is driven by the focus on the ultimate–the championships won. This is not me downplaying championships. A championship win is an incredible achievement. We all can learn a lot from championship teams—as should be obvious from many of our posts here. I’m just calling a little more attention to the every-day games.   

Think of it this way; if I am playing one-on-one basketball with my son in our driveway, is that unimportant? Heck no! Neither of us is headed to the NBA Championship, but we play every game to eleven, score by ones and win by two. I won’t let him beat me. Someday he will, but he’s going to have to earn it! We play, we laugh, we get out of breath (ok, maybe that’s just me). We compete. Winner take all! No titles or rings or trophies or awards are on the line, it’s just a game, but nothing else matters in that moment. 

Any two teams in any sport have objectives and they have pride. What they do matters, because it matters to them. It matters to their fans, if there are any (the dog sometimes watches my son and I play, but doesn’t seem to care). That’s enough, that counts.  

And even if it’s not the playoffs, a game still has consequences that matter; we can learn things by watching how the players approach a challenge, and the players can learn things they can apply to the next game or to other areas of their lives. Maybe my son will finally learn how to beat me. Maybe the experience will make him better at school, at other sports, at life. 

Any time people come together to do something matters—because each person matters. My relationship with one client may or may not lead to my becoming a dominant figure in my industry. It may or may not be one of those big accounts that makes me feel like I’ve just won the Super Bowl. If it’s not, does that mean my client is unimportant? Less deserving of my full attention? 

I am taking it one game at a time—and enjoying each game as it comes. This goes for my driveway games with my son, for the games I watch as a fan, and for the games I play as an entrepreneur. It’s not about some ultimate prize, it’s about trying to win each game for its own sake.  

We all have a game to play. Focus on that game. It matters.

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