Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Winning Habits

Go ahead.  Call me competitive.  It won't hurt my feelings.  In fact, I consider it a compliment.  We discovered our youngest son has a natural ability for bowling.  Our games have been really close.  He smokes me in the first game and I usually find a way to edge him out in game #2.  The rubber match is the most interesting.  My approach to every series we play is the same approach I use for life.  It all comes down to winning habits.  Here are some points for your consideration.
  1. Trial Runs Set Up Future Victories.  Our youngest son uses his power and his athletic ability to knock a lot of pins down when we face off in the bowling alley.  I see the first game in the series as the practice round.  Each frame gives me the feedback I need to make all the necessary adjustments.  The lanes are different at each bowling alley and the conditions always vary.  The same thing is true in life.  I know I need to keep fine tuning until I reach the desired outcome – a strike.  Every day is an opportunity to practice until I get it right.
  2. Study the Champions.  This is true in any endeavor.  There are successful people in all walks of life.  You don't need to re-invent the wheel.  Simply follow the best people in your area of interest and mimic their behavior.
  3. Practice, Practice, Practice.  Winning is a habit.  So is losing.  Winners practice.  Losers don't.  Games are won in the off-season when no one is watching.
  4. See the End Game in Your Mind.  I played on a competitive tennis team in Southern California.  We decided to enter some tennis tournaments to get stronger in our league play.  I asked, "what do we need to do to win a national championship?"  Our captain responded, "we need to win a local tournament first.  Then, we are eligible to play in a regional qualifier.  If we can take first place in a regional qualifier, we advance to nationals with seven other teams."  For us, the end game was a national championship.  We won our first tournament and advanced to the Las Vegas National Qualifier tournament.  We took first place out of 32 teams by a single point and went to nationals.  We fell short of a national championship but still managed to take 5th place in the country.   Seeing the end game in our minds helped us reach bold goals.
  5. Divine Inspiration.  This is your secret weapon.  When you pray, you are connecting with the Creator of the universe.  He has a plan for you.  When you align yourself with God's plan for your life, you become unstoppable.  You see every day in your life as a trial run.  You feel inspired to study all the role models around you.  You get a burning desire in your heart to practice daily so you can be your best.  You see the end game in your mind.  It's God's battle plans.  And you feel God's presence everywhere you go.
When game three of the rubber match is about to begin, I look at our youngest son and smile.  He asks, "are you going to bowl strikes again in the 10th frame?"  I answer, "What do you think?"  My wife shouts, "Don't let him get in your head."

My direct parenting days are coming to a conclusion.  My hope is that all three of our children raise the bar and reach their full potential.  I pray that the limited time I had with them will help them develop their own winning habits.  And I pray that my daily stories help you in the game of life.

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