Zero Sum Games: Perfect for the Court, Not So Much for Life - Jacquette M. Timmons

Ok. In the spirit of full disclosure, I was rooting for the San Antonio Spurs. So, I was bummed when they lost Game 6 and I turned off the television with 46 seconds left in Game 7. I didn’t want to see the end. (A bit melodramatic, I know – especially since my “real” sport is baseball and I’m really a die-hard Yankees fan!)

If you saw last night’s game, you know it was played hard…and well. You also know the moment the game was won and it wasn’t in the final seconds of the last quarter!

However, when you play a zero sum game, there can only be one winner.

As I was getting my NPR fix earlier and listening to “Morning Edition,” I was struck by Mike Pesca’s analysis of the game. He said many things that caught my attention, but it was a quote from LeBron James that stopped me in my tracks — it contains the mother of all life-lesson nuggets.

LB: “I looked at all my regular season stats, all my playoff stats, and I was one of the best mid-range shooters and I shot a career high from the 3-point line. And I just told myself, don’t abandon what you’ve done all year.” (Emphasis mine.)

Do You See What I See

Before your “big game” whether that looks like a major presentation, critical meeting, or important decision, what are you looking at?

Are you reviewing stats that reaffirm your gifts and talents; are you looking at stats that reaffirm you’ve been here before and you performed well; are you looking at stats that pump you up and remind you of how great you are?

The Miami Heat played well and hard – leaving everything on the court.

And in the process, for those with a discerning ear and eye, they reminded us:

  • To make sure we leave the zero sum games on the court, on the course, on the field, and in the ring. Whatever you’re trying to win in this game of life, someone doesn’t have to lose in order for you to win. Thank, God!
  • To be mindful of what part of your track record you choose to focus on.

In short, don’t abandon your greatness and what you’ve done to cultivate and nurture it at the precise moment when it is needed most!

Lebron didn’t, and he and his team are the 2013 National Basketball Association Champions – for the second year in a row.

However you may feel about the Miami Heat or LeBron James; or, perhaps, you are completely indifferent to all of this sports stuff and could really give a rat’s you-know-what…don’t dismiss the lesson!

And remember to always congratulate the person/team that wins… Congratulations, Miami Heat!

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