Wednesday, July 7, 2010

playing the end of the game before it's over

Watch out! I'm about to use a sports analogy. (Yes, you are at the right blog.)

I've been enjoying some World Cup games recently, and last week there was a match that reminded me of, well, life.

In final moments of the Ghana vs. Uruguay game (before penalty kicks) there was a melee in the Uruguayan goal -- a shot on goal, blocked by the goalie, then a rebound shot, blocked by a defender, and then a third rebound, blocked by a Uruguayan handball, which, for those of you as unsportsly as I am, is totally illegal -- I mean, so illegal that the guy who had the handball got kicked out of the game and would not be allowed to play again in the tournament.

So, while he blocked a goal, he was mortified because he earned Ghana a free penalty kick, AND he lost his right to keep playing.

As he walked off the field, you could see how sick he felt, knowing he had just handed the game over to Ghana.

However, things didn't go so well for Ghana on that kick. The ball hit the crossbar at the top of the goal and flew out of bounds, leading the game into a shoot out, which, in the end was won by Uruguay.

The best moment captured on video, in my opinion, is of the player who was kicked out of the game (and it almost looks like he's been kicked out of the stadium) for a move that in his mind lost them the game, when, in fact, it didn't.

The plain truth is, whether in soccer or relationships or job interviews or auditions or family gatherings or asking for a raise or taking a risk, whatever the situation, you never know how it's going to end until it ends. And there's absolutely no value to beating yourself up for something you've done "wrong" because the game you're playing may be much bigger than the one you seem to be playing.

For example, this is only one game in that Uruguayan player's career. Maybe it sends him to the bottom of the soccer heap, and maybe it starts him on a road to stardom. Who knows? What we do know is that the game did not end the way he thought it would.

And the chances are good that yours won't either.

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