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The Huddle on the Mound

Nov 20, 2017

Sports fans and teams have been on a nail-biting ride this season with various surprises. Teams have shown us how they come together and fall apart in the most intense moments…

Game three between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros broke the world record for longest game played in the World Series series. Players fought hard for five hours for the winning run in the 11th inning.

One of the NFL’s star athletes, quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, was out for the season with 13 screws in his collarbone. Fans are dubious as to the team’s chances of making the playoffs.

The NBA’S Orlando Magic finally ended their 17-game losing streak against the Cavaliers—even with all of the Cavs’ superstar players in tow.

In the postgame, coaches and players must examine what worked, what went wrong. One player may have applied poor strategy that hindered the team. Another player may have brought a win with the scoring move.

Sports teams dip through peaks and valleys with every season. In life, it’s much the same, we play for ourselves and we play for each other. Sometimes we play well enough to win and sometimes we play well enough to lose.

Legendary basketball coach John Wooden said, “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” Wooden is a remarkable advisor of using our creative capacity to navigate catastrophic loss.

During a catastrophe, it eases our compassionate hearts to care for our teammates or others. Fire survivors in Southern California sent supplies to fire survivors in Northern California. Neighbors rescued each other during flooding in Houston after Hurricane Harvey. In Puerto Rico, young people took it upon themselves to distribute provisions after Hurricane Maria destroyed the island’s infrastructure.

Extraordinary thinking is what gives us perspective outside our self-centered, ego-driven thoughts and engages our altruism and higher values. It’s in our nature to help our teammates, strangers, family, and friends during a catastrophe. But how do we apply altruism to ourselves during tough times? How do we react to ourselves during a catastrophic loss? How do we catch the behaviors and thinking that keeps us in our own valley?

It’s much harder to have the perspective that brings out our higher thinking with ourselves in the midst of catastrophe. It takes extraordinary thinking to catch self-doubt; to not give up on something you set out to do. Nobody is watching except for you. Do you show up for yourself the way you do for others?

Thankfully, catastrophes don’t happen every day. Instead, we face challenges that can easily defeat us. Maybe it’s giving up on a workout regime, giving up on dating or giving in to a purchase we can’t afford. During those moments it takes extraordinary thinking to voice our weaknesses, know how to constructively self-soothe and turn to our teammates for guidance and support.

Think of the people that demonstrate vulnerability as a selfless act. There’s a fine line between, “I have enough to give” and “I can’t give anymore.” Extraordinary thinking is what recognizes our personal limitations and weaknesses. It makes us respect our capacity to help others and to tell the truth about what we have to give. What impresses us are those that give and know when to pull themselves out of the game because they need to take care of themselves before they can give more. Every star player eventually needs a break.

Extraordinary thinking is like a muscle. It has to be exercised to grow, but it also fatigues. We at Productive Learning are here to train you and your pals into becoming Team Extraordinary. You may find that you were unaware of unconscious conditioning that holds you back.

You and your buddy lean on each other for advice much like baseball players huddle on the mound when the pitcher is weak. The team comes up with a strategy for the good of all. Imagine how your life would be if you have a team around, each teammate committed to what is best for each other!

And it doesn’t stop there! You and your teammates can continue your conditioning with Core Values, a retreat designed to identify the rules of the game that you must play by in order to feel fully alive and completely unstoppable. Harness Your Motivation in this workshop to truly understand what motivates you and how to get you moving in the areas where it matters most.

Life gives us teams—those we choose and those we don’t. We all need a team that comes from the perspective of what’s best for all of us because you are a piece of a massive human puzzle.  We must be willing, to be honest about who we are and have a team that believes and trusts in the best of us. We must agree, as teammates, to not settle for anything less than our best!

We can’t control catastrophe and we can’t even control victory—but we can use the circumstances of our life to create extraordinary experiences for others and ourselves. In life and in sports only extraordinary thinkers make the best of the way things turn out. Win or lose.



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