End On A Win
Growing up in small town PA (that’s Pennsylvania for the Midwesterners) we played a lot of different sports. The small population afforded kids plenty of opportunity to participate in virtually every sport. Our immediate area was made up of a handful of small communities who fielded teams, especially baseball, as there was no shortage of diamonds. Other sports saw all the kids converge on the local school to divvy up and create teams that formed the “league.” The only sport that did any actual traveling was football. Regardless of the sport though, as each season came to a close, one thing I clearly remember my coaches telling us was to “end on a win.”
This mantra carried on through high school as well. The point was no matter how good or bad the season had gone we always wanted to finish strong…finish on a win. A win, even if it’s the only one, on the last game at least finishes the season with a good feeling. Enjoying a victory with your teammates to remember. A victory that seemingly erases what might have been an otherwise terrible season. You leave that locker room a winner.
The older I get the more I understand the value in the idea of ending on a win and how it applies to more than sports. Negative events will happen in life; that’s a fact. How people respond to those unfortunate happenings is what ultimate determines the future. Past events are just that, the past. They don’t determine our fate any more than lady luck does. Having a short memory and remaining optimistic about the next opportunity is key. A bad thing happened. OK. Understand it. Learn from it. But don’t dwell on it. It’s more important to go get a win…to finish the day on a win.
Momentum is so critical in sports and in life. Everyone reading this has likely had a feeling of being overwhelmed at one point or another. So much stuff to do that you don’t know where to start. Perhaps you’ve also experienced a series of setbacks and feel you can’t catch a break. I heard a phrase at a business seminar once, “Action alleviates anxiety.” Pure gold. Do something. Anything. Doesn’t matter how small. Get a win. One turns into two which begets three. Soon momentum builds and you’re off on such a roll that nothing could stop you.
For me, cleaning out my garage does the trick. I pull my truck out, sweep the floor, reorganize the tools hanging on the wall, tidy up the shelves and then pull down the totes. My goal is to try and purge enough stuff to eliminate one of the totes. The whole process is almost therapeutic for me. When I’m finished, I feel great and immediately want to tackle something else.
Having a bad day at work? Blow the big sale? It is what it is. Just don’t leave work without a win. Do something. Anything. Clean up your desk. Clear out your email. Re-organize your files. Get a win before you walk out the door. Having some feeling of accomplishment will improve your mood and promote optimism going forward. You’re less likely to be grumpy walking in the door at home and allow something completely unrelated affect your family. Plus, you’ll go to bed on a win and, more importantly, wake up coming off a win.
Whether it’s a season of losses, a series of unfortunate events, or just a bad day…end it on a win!
Everyday Is Training Day – Reap What You Sow