Yesterday Canada won Gold in the Women’s Hockey at the Sochi Olympics. It was a fantastic game. The ladies played hard and in the last few minutes of regulation, we pulled through enough to tie up the game and take it to overtime. Jian
half-jokingly tweeted that there is likely already a film in production about this one game because it was that good.
What stood out for me in this game was the moments before Canada scored in the final three minutes and twenty-six seconds of the third period. The US were dominating and they had two goals on us. They were faster and you could tell that Canada was feeling defeated. I could imagine deflated balloons floating around all of the players’ heads, getting all tangled up. They weren’t giving up entirely, but there was a change in the players on the ice. They were slowing down, shoulders were slumping and they seemed to be coming to the realisation that just maybe they weren’t going to win.
I have often experienced this feeling on my own recreational soccer team (go FC Generics!). By not means are we a serious team, like say, a Canadian National team, but let’s face it, who doesn’t love winning? We have been playing as a group for about five years now so we really know one another. When we play a game where we are having a tough time, those deflated balloons really seem to drag us down. We run a little slower, we are a little sloppier in our passing and our shots on net just don’t hit the mark. But what’s different in those games than in the ones when it’s a clear win for us? It’s simple: our attitudes.
As soon as the Canadian ladies scored that first goal at 3:26 in the third period, it was as though our players raised up a little. The balloons were magically full again and the players were on fire. It was awesome to watch. How many times in our lives have we let bad attitudes get in the way of something good, like winning a gold medal or getting a job? Have you ever wondered why that one friend of yours ALWAYS has EVERYTHING going wrong in her life? She loses her job, gets in a fight with her Mom ,and her boyfriend, and everyone else. She complains how it’s not her fault. But maybe it is. Maybe this series of ill-events is happening because of the way that she is approaching her life.
That silly saying “turn that frown upside down”, is kind of a true story. Any situation can be looked at from two angles and it’s up to you to choose the right one. You can complain about your debt or you can focus on how to make more money. You can cry about your terrible job or you can think of ways that you can make it better (or of a new job that may be better suited for you). To be perfectly honest, a couple of years ago when I was doing my weekly “What I am Loving” blog posts, I was actually going through a pretty rough patch. But instead of focussing on the negatives, I decided to give myself that weekly challenge to focus on the good things that were also happening in my life. I fully believe that doing this helped me get out of that big hole. We are all in control of our own lives. Our attitudes and our actions dictate how we make out in this world. It’s that simple. The next time you are feeling defeated, imagine that balloon and allow it to rise. With that, you can accomplish anything.
(By the way, the images used in this blog post are from my 2013 trip to Queensland, Australia. I thought that a squashed cane toad would be fitting for this post as well as one of that gorgeous big Australian sky. You can read about my trips Down Under here.)