How many times have you heard - or said - "shake it off", referencing some misfortune on the football field - or some misfortune in life?
I know for me and other people, it's become a sort of running gag when something bad happens to say this to someone, knowing full well the "something" we're talking about won't be easily shook.
This week though, when I was watching the Monday night game between the Packers and the Bears, something hit me. After every snap, any professional football player who wants to be one of the best , who wants his team to win, really does have to "shake it off".
"It" could be throwing an interception, blowing a tackle, comitting a stupid penalty, or getting lit up like a Christmas tree by a Pro-Bowl linebacker.
Regardless, if that player wants the next snap to have any chance of resulting in success, he's got to let "it" go - and fast! In most cases, the player has all of about a minute to take his mind off the last play to prepare for the next.
And can't you tell when he doesn't? Isn't it so obvious when the opposing team is able to get "in a player's head," and his play suffers throughout the rest of the game?
Get ready. I'm about to get philosophical.
Here's my thought: What if I was able to "shake off" every poor result in my life in less than a minute? What if I could look at each mistake, each failed attempt, and disappointment and recognize that it was just one "play" in a very long game?
Of course, I am the only one who could say what "winning" my game would look like when the clock runs out. But how much more likely - and much more quickly - would I be able to accomplish the win just by letting go of what didn't work?
And even if I "lost", what would the experience of playing the game be like?
It seems to me, it would be exhilarating, intense, inspiring because it would have been all of me in the game all the time. I would still go back and "watch the tape" to really get my mind around what didn't work, but there would be no time to wallow or luxuriate in it.
As a matter of fact, wouldn't it even be great to shake off a win, too? Think of the players who have been so in love with their own talent and accomplishments that the game, and his team, took second place to his own ego. (Can you say, T.O.?)
And what is the game of my life - of your life - worth when compared to a 60-minute football game?