GOING PRO

Leave It All On The Field

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My high school coach would yell, “Leave it all on the field!” He said that if you had energy to even walk after the game then you didn’t play hard enough. Maybe your coach said that too.

We hear this concept of giving 100% so often that it’s become a cliché. I mean, if you actually gave 100% of yourself then you’d be dead. But it’s still a venerable goal; to actually give everything you’ve got to a noble cause.

If you played a sport then you know what I’m talking about. Nothing less than your all-out best was acceptable.

So why did so many of us toss away that philosophy when we tossed our graduation caps? Why would we give less effort in the real world than we did to our high school sports?

Read great books. Start working out again. Set high standards for yourself academically and physically. Most of us were only average athletes, but on the field of life we can be pros.

Imagine what it would look like if you gave your 100% best in your friendships, your marriage, or in quality time with your kids? These are the only fields that truly matter.

The Yes Man

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Whenever you say yes to something you give it a piece of your time – essentially a piece of your life. You can either give your life away in small pieces to 100 trifling endeavors like an amateur, or you can be great at one or two things like a pro.

Even good, noble things will rob you of your life one little piece at a time if you let them. I love backpacking, fly fishing, deer hunting, reading, sailing, cycling, and soccer. But I can’t say yes to all of that, plus be involved in my church men’s group, and my kid’s sports, and dates with my wife. Not to mention my job. Clearly, we can’t do everything we want to do.

Every time we say yes to something we’re hooked by it. And the more hooks we have with lines going to all these things we’ve said yes to make us become puppets.

Cut ties with the old amateur you that said yes to everything. Say yes only to your top three endeavors. Say yes only to the things that you can't live without.

Tap Out

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When I first started martial arts I’d hold out as long as I could before tapping out. That resulted in a lot of days with a really sore arm or throat. When you are in a chokehold or an arm bar the best thing that you can do is tap out early. Trying to stay as long as you can in a bad situation will only result in pain and injury.

Sometimes life gets us in a choke hold, too. There are a lot of people with emotional and financial scars of regret because they didn’t tap out when they should have.

As soon as you realize that your girlfriend is not the one for you, or you picked the wrong major, or you’re with the wrong crowd, or your job is crushing your soul - tap out!

The sooner you stop going down the wrong path the better. Tap out early and stop wasting your time and money on pointless endeavors and unhealthy relationships. Save your fighting spirit for things that truly matter.

You don’t get any points in life for seeing how long you can stay in a bad situation.