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Are You Pushing Too Hard?

Have you ever found yourself in a motivated state of mind and pushing through the day?

Do you feel like everybody is hitting you with everything they have?

Blocked. Stalled. Frustrated. It is easy to want to push harder.

When I was a teenager, I liked to play football, not with the school team. Uniforms and protective equipment made that too easy. It was more fun to get together after school for a rough and tumble. A game of shirts and skins with the same guys who typically wear protective gear was much more fun.

One afternoon, in a particularly spirited game, though, I wasn’t having as much fun as I usually did.

My attitude that day was one of total domination. I arrived at the field of battle with the absolute intent of pushing as hard as possible and winning the day. The only problem was another player had the same intention. And he was knocking the crap out of me with every hike of the ball.

Play after play, we would crash into each other as much force as we could muster. Neither would back off. We kept hitting as hard as we could and inflicting more pain in a so-called fun game. Finally, in tears from my last pummeling, I said,

“Why are you hitting me so hard? Stop hurting me. We’re supposed to be having fun. Stop it!”

I’ll let you fill in the more colorful words, emphasis, and emotional craziness.

I was in pain, frustrated, cold, and mad as hell. But that’s when my opponent made me realize something I had been missing. He said,

“Me hitting you? You’ve been bashing me all day. What did I do to you? Why are you hitting me so hard?”

The emotions of that moment and the lessons learned are still with me all these years later.

Sometimes, when we get pumped and on a mission to achieve our goal, we get lost in our emotions. Not everybody is getting in your way. They are playing the same game, have the same plans, and are fighting to get what they want – like you.

After we realized what was going on, the game continued. This time, it wasn’t about hurting each other. We stopped pushing too hard and played the best game we could to see who would come out on top.