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Get Over It

By Rob Willis

Have you ever noticed that everyday events can inspire you, or perhaps reveal to you a life lesson?

I had one of these moments the other day at my son’s football game.

I had volunteered as the water boy during the game, which is a great opportunity to be part of the game, without all of the bumps & bruises.

One of the great advantages of being on the field during the game is that you can hear the players, umpires & spectators (ie both groups of supporters) comments, and it is amazing at how differently each group views each decision.

As the water boy I am doing a job & do not get drawn into the comments that are flying around. (It is a good thing that everyone does not hear the comments that the players are constantly throwing at each other).

Although I have always tried to instil into my boys that you should never boo or criticise an umpire, as they have to make quick decisions, based on the way that they see a particular passage of play, being on the field, does give you a different perspective to what is going on out there.

On this particular day, I must say that some of the decisions that the umpires made were not the way I viewed the situation, & I am not being biased, there were decisions that went against the opposition that I thought could have gone the other way.

But no matter how you look at it, the umpire’s decision is the umpire’s decision & there is no negotiation into the matter. Whether we think that is it right or wrong is irrelevant.

In saying this, both teams have the same umpire during the game, & it may seem that the umpire is biased in a particular direction, but if you ask the opposition what they thought of the umpiring, they would most likely agree that it was not favourable towards their team. (This obviously explains why both teams boo the umpires off the field).

But it occurred to me while I was out there that no matter what the umpire’s decision is, you must get on and continue playing the game to the best of your ability. Can you imagine if a player sat down in the middle of the ground, crossed his arms and refused to continue playing, because he didn’t like the umpire’s decision? He would soon be dragged of the field.

Don’t stress that a decision has not gone your way. It is not something you can control. Simply step up & make the next passage of play work to your advantage.

Again this week I was in the office & overheard someone complaining about something that had happened & they started to bitch & moan about it. I was immediately reminded about my son’s football game & thought, “if you are unable to directly control the situation, move on & work around it.”

There are so many things that come our way that we have no control of, & we must recognise these & re-devise our plans & goals. Although we do have a great influence on our futures, we cannot control every variable, and as such we need to adjust our course to work around each obstacle.

This of course is the main premise of the serenity prayer. “Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr.

There is a great book I read recently called “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch. Randy died recently of Pancreatic cancer. I highly recommend that you get a copy of this book as well as watch the lecture at his website,  or at youtube.

One of the great quotes that Randy makes during The Last Lecture is “The brick walls are there for a reason. They’re not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.”

Most people are dealt the same cards in life, however it is not the circumstances that dictate the result it is our reactions to them. In life we can choose to respond or react. We can choose to complain about the weather, or we can pick up an umbrella on the way out.

I like the quote from Billy Connoly, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only a bad choice in clothing.”

And that is so true. We so often grumble about things we have no control over, rather than being grateful for what we have & work with the things that we can control.

There is a line in the song My Thanksgiving by Don Henley, which goes “Have you noticed that an angry man, can only get so far. Until he reconciles the way he thinks things ought to be, with the way things are.”

So rather than complain, act! Take action to turn the situation around to something that you can control.

At the end of the day it is all a matter of attitude, as has been said by many people before me. But that is a subject for another day.


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