May 8 2013

Tracey Jackson

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PLAY YOUR GAME BETTER

PLAY YOUR GAME BETTER

 

Do you find it interesting how so often when you least expect to hear something inspirational it comes to you from the least likely of places?  And more often than not it zips in at exactly the right time.

You gotta love the universe.  And when did I start sounding like Paul?

Yesterday after a long day of work I threw my tired body into a taxi. All I wanted was a little quiet until I got home and had to deal with all the home stuff. But taxis in New York are some of the least quiet contemplative places on earth. You’ve got this hideous thing called taxi TV, which they program so you can’t shut off. And inevitably the driver is either yelling at his wife in Punjabi or listening to the radio.

Of course yesterday the driver I got was listening to sports radio. Now I hate sports. I don’t watch them. I don’t listen to them. I find them an annoyance. But they give great pleasure to so many men, including my husband, I have learned to tolerate their existence.
As every American knows the NBA playoffs are happening. Aren’t they?

And here in New York nobody will shut up about the Knicks. So this guy is listening to more Knick chatter and I would love to tell him to  “shut it off.”   But driving a cab is tedious work.  And truth be told, his day was most likely worse than mine. So I just sat back and tried to tune out.

Like the famous Snoopy cartoon, I picked up every third word.  Blah, blah blah – Carmello Anthony. Blah, blah, blah – we can’t live in the past seasons. Blah, blah, blah – Paul George. Blah, blah blah – most rebounds. Blah. Blah blah, -  Play your game better.

Hold on a minute.  I like the sound of that. “Play your game better.”

I took out my notebook and wrote it down. This is something to let the brain ponder.

How many of us are more concerned with what others are doing and not concentrating on our own game?  Is that guy over there making more money?  Is he is more successful than I am?  Does he have a bigger car?  A hotter wife?  Better house?  Is that person thinner than I am?  More popular?  Less insecure?  Why are they married and I’m not?  That job belonged to me, how did that loser get it?

How much time do we spend looking at how someone else is playing their game as opposed to just concentrating on playing our own game better?

We spend more time on our defense than focusing on our offense. Not bad for someone who doesn’t follow sports?

But it’s true. I’m as guilty of this as the next person.

And playing our game better means different things to different people.

Just like in sports players may have one part of their game down but are weak in another. You can have a killer forehand, but your backhand sucks. You can be a great batter but your catching needs work.

Your job can be running on all cylinders, but your home life is in need of some serious attention. That is where you need to play your game better.

You have a loving family, a job you like, but you’ve still got that residual anger that harkens back to your childhood when you could somehow never get your parents approval. So now you blow up at strange times, for reasons nobody including you don’t understand. It’s chalked up to over reacting.   But you really need to do some hard work on yourself and deal with the detritus of your past and how it affects your present.  That is where you need to play your game better

You’re twenty-five pounds overweight, you still smoke, your blood pressure is through the roof,  your doctors warn you. Your family worries. But the cheeseburgers, fries and Cherry Garcia seem to ride rough shot over all the sound advice and your good intentions. This is where you need to play your game better.

Is it shopping? Gambling?  Gossiping?  Do you send nasty emails when you don’t mean to? Does anger move in when you need to sit with the feelings and respond later and not react in the moment?

Does self- loathing cause you to stumble and retreat, when you need to move forward and take over your destiny?  This is where you need to play your game better.

There is not a person walking who cannot benefit, from keeping their focus on their own behavior and how it’s affecting themselves and those around them.

Stop yourself several times today and in the following weeks and ask yourself, what isn’t working with my game?  What part of it needs improving?   Don’t blame your fellow player for not getting you the ball in time, jumping high enough, running fast enough, that’s his game, all you need to focus on is  where you need to play your game better.

 

 

 

 

 

Tracey Jackson

Tracey Jackson is a screenwriter and blogger at traceyjacksononline.com. Her book Gratitude and Trust; Recovery is Not Just For Addicts will be released in 2014.

  • http://moonitude.com/ Margaret Garone

    Tracey, I loved this: “Does self- loathing cause you to stumble and retreat, when you need to move forward and take over your destiny? This is where you need to play your game better.”
    Sometimes we can feel like we’re all wrong when maybe we’re just in the wrong place trying to be something we’re not, or like you said, dragging something from the past that’s making us tired.

    In a career coaching type exercise I was asked to write down five “I am –” statements. For instance, I am family. I am love. I am art. I am peace…” After I wrote mine, I was asked to memorize it, hang it around where I’d see it. Great advice.

    • http://www.traceyjacksononline.com/ Tracey Jackson

      Glad you like it Margaret. I think there are also different morsels in many things we hear that apply differently depending on where we are that day or moment. But we all the stuff from the past that rears its head, often when we least need it to.

  • Steppie Royes

    Change is usually good, especially when it’s self-improvement. It’s much easier to point out the faults (or is it strike outs) of others than our own. Thanks for reminding us that we all need to play our own game better! With the bumpy start to my morning, I needed to read this post. Tracey, you’ve hit a home-run writing this one! As for sounding like Paul, he seems to have that effect on most of us. It’s a good thing, I’m sure.

    • http://www.traceyjacksononline.com/ Tracey Jackson

      They say if a swimmer looks into the next lane he loses time. I think the sports analogies can go on and on but they are true.

  • http://www.facebook.com/karen.n.quinn Karen Nedler Quinn

    Great post, Tracey. “You need to play your game better” is a mantra we can all adopt.

    • http://www.traceyjacksononline.com/ Tracey Jackson

      Thank you Karen. It certainly rang true for me.