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Blog: Organizing for Boomers
Football's Lessons of Life

When one thinks of fall, often we think of home, nesting time and football. The first 50 years of my life I never understood the game of football. I had never played the game, had no brothers, plus my high school was brand new with no one older than our class so the guys were trying to figure out the game as much as the girls were.

I spent my high school years more infatuated with basketball and certain basketball players. I simply had no time to figure out the game of football. College was no different, as I selected a school that had just eliminated their football program right before I showed up.

Since I started through the Second Half of My Life I've reinvented myself as a college football fanatic. Recently, I sat in the stadium and noticed the many life lessons that football can provide us. Here are my Top Ten:
10. Know the Rules
Sometimes the players seemed to mess up on things that seemed so basic. Maybe we do the same to ourselves.

9. Be Prepared and Visualize Success
We can't just show up on Game Day and expect to capture the brass ring, get the applause and win the trophies. We have to plan ahead of time, work hard at what we are trying to accomplish and picture (yes, get a clear picture in our head) of us achieving success.

8. Suit Up
Whether it's putting on a "Flak Jacket" to withstand a tough day ahead, or dressing down to get in some needed exercise, having the right "suit" for the right occasion might get us half way there.

7. Eye on the Ball
This one speaks to all of us. Are we trying to do too many things at once, trying to be all things to all people and spreading ourselves so thin that we're no good to anyone, especially ourselves? Have we lost sight of the ball in the disarray of everyday life and how can we refocus to what's really important?

6. Hang onto the Ball
Once we get our fingertips (manicured or not) on the ball, can we hang on and keep that focus, not get distracted, not give it away to the first interruption that comes along?

5. Sometimes we have to Go Big
I never used to understand the "Hail Mary" passes. I dismissed them as some egomaniac hoping to be a one-man band and "win one for the Gipper". Now I recognize them as Breakthrough Goals as Jack Canfield calls them. He says go for the quantum leap-not just the four yards at a time. Reach for something big.

4. If you can't go big, go for 10 yards at a time
It took me years and years to understand this fundamental rule of football. If you can just reach 10 yards, you get several more chances to move the ball. Why it has taken me more than half a lifetime to get this, I'll never know, but it is worth applying to our everyday life. Sometimes we can't Go Big-we can't take that Giant Leap. That's all right. What can we do that's a small step in the right direction? What might be the next logical action step we could take that provides some momentum? Can we try for just 10 yards at a time, not wait for the 50 yard pass?

3. Know when to Hunker Down
This one is often no fun. In fact in football it looks downright dangerous and exhausting. Whether it's hunkering down because things at home are not going well right now or work issues could be better, sometimes there is nothing we can do about it, but simply hunker down. This won't last forever, but when we are in the eye of the storm, it seems as if it will never end. Know that rainy days won't last a lifetime, but keep an eye on where you parked your boots.

2. Never Give Up
Even when it looks like they're not going to win the game, some players play with a "never give up" outlook. The expression I've heard lately is "We left it all on the field". Are there some things facing you right now, that if you hang on just a little bit longer, hunker down instead of giving up, that you can reach the other side and achieve something you had thought was not possible?

And the #1 Life Lesson we can learn from Football:

The right "F" word for fall and any season of the year. As I watch the exciting game of college football I can't help but notice their power of concentration. They are out there on the field with single-minded focus. They're not text-messaging their friends, thinking of their To-Do List of tomorrow, or planning their date night for later in the weekend. They are tenaciously, unconditionally focused on the moment. I have really learned from watching them as to what it really means "To Be Present". The great players are really present in the moment with all outside distractions nowhere in the crevices of their minds.

So that's my Top Ten List of Life's Lessons we can learn from Football. This next week, I'm going to pick at least two of them to work on. I hope you find at least two that speak to you. Let me know which two they are and how your week went. Until then…

Making Your Space a Special Place
the R.E.D. team – Reinventing Everyday Designs

posted on: 11/9/2007 12:30:00 PM by Sue Crum
category: Special Populations

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Organizing for Boomers

by Sue Crum

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About Sue:

Sue Crum knows and understands the life of a Baby Boomer all too well. Having served as the filling of an Oreo cookie for many years, she has reinvented herself in San Diego as the owner of The R.E.D. Team, Reinventing Everyday Designs, doing professional organizing, real estate staging, and interior redesign.

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