Last Friday kicked my butt. I received some bad news regarding a speaking engagement being unable to reschedule for this year, and despite wanting to lock in 2021, requesting a full refund in the interim.
Between the frustrations of losing another opportunity this year and an emotionally tough week, I was mentally done for the day. I talked to one of my mentors, responded to my client, and then turned off my computer because I had no brain power left for work.
Have you had one of those days lately?
You just get to a point that you’re tapped out emotionally, mentally, or energy-wise.
Guess what? That’s ok. It means you’re human.
But what’s not ok is allowing those feelings to hold us captive for multiple days – or longer. We can lean into those feelings temporarily, but intentionally making sure that when the clock strikes midnight, it’s on to the next move.
One of my strengths when playing football in high school is that I didn’t allow myself to continually replay a past mistake. If I threw an interception or messed up on a play, I didn’t keep replaying that play in my head the entire rest of the game. Usually, I made a mental note and then got back to the upcoming play at hand.
I knew that thinking about that interception wasn’t going to allow me to take it back – but what gave me a chance to overcome it was by making a great play on my next opportunity. I forced myself to be present with the current play and not get too worried about what happened before or “what could” happen ahead.
I played in the moment.
Win the Next One.
One of the phrases I’ve stuck with over the last few years is “Win the Next Possession.” I’ve named our upcoming journal after it because it’s all about winning the current day’s opportunity.
Not next week.
Not next year.
Today – and only today.
Sports are won one play at a time throughout a game. It’s not a single play that makes or breaks the outcome – it’s the hundreds of small plays over the course of the game that add up to the outcome.
Hit a big 3-point shot for your basketball team? Awesome. Make sure you win the next possession on defense and keep your opponent from tying it back up.
Throw an interception during the football game? I know it’s frustrating. But thinking about it won’t change the outcome, so make sure you make a great play when the ball is back in your hands.
Or what about…
“I haven’t been able to get a solid routine for a few weeks now with this whole ‘working from home’ thing. I’ve gotten nothing accomplished I need to.” – So have a lot of other people. What you did yesterday or last week doesn’t matter, but how you show up today does. Stop looking at what happened earlier this week and start building your winning streak today.
“I just lost my job. I don’t even know what to do now.”Every second right now matters, so let’s win today. Reach out to everyone in your network. Apply for unemployment or SBA support. Contact local grocery stores and restaurants that are still open for part-time, delivery, or any opportunities. We can’t let being upset keep us from finding a new source.
“Just do the next right thing” is a phrase used in Alcoholics Anonymous recovery programs. It’s the idea that you stay focused on the present (be where your feet are) and ask yourself what’s the next best move I can make, and then force yourself to do it.
It’s not about looking one week or one month into the future. It’s not about determining every single step you have to take to achieve your goal.
It’s about just focusing on the next step and making it the best one.
Fail at something? Make the next best move you can.
Have a bad day? Make the next best move you can.
Achieve progress on your goal? Great. Make the next best move you can.
We dig ourselves out of a hole, we reach our fitness goals, and we change our life’s path by winning just one choice at a time.
Sports mirrors life.
Games are won by hundreds of small plays, every single play throughout a game. It’s not one point at the end that decides it, but the hundreds of plays that led up to that moment that does.
And life works the same way.
We change our positioning, achieve our goals, and reach our potential by compounding the small plays made every day on top of each other.
- There’s no magic bullet.
- There’s no one-size-fits-all ebook to save you.
- There’s no one tipping point that’ll catapult you to success.
There are only opportunities every day to be present and win that possession.
If you had a bad week as I did, shake it off. Win today’s possession.
If you’re spinning circles trying to make the most of this new “normal,” take a deep breath. Get your eyes off of next month and focus on winning today’s possession.
Win your next possession today, Competitor.